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Seattle Mayor Says Justice Department Reforms Would Cost $41 Million

Deborah Wang
05/14/2012

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it will cost the city $41 million to carry out all the reforms proposed by the US Department of Justice.

The city is now negotiating with the DOJ over its findings that the Seattle Police Department is guilty of a "pattern and practice" of excessive use of force.

The DOJ would require the city to hire many more staff members and conduct new training. He said the DOJ is requiring the city to make those changes within 180 days, which he said is not possible under the city's civil service rules.

McGinn told KUOW's "Weekday" this morning that the cost of all of those changes is "frankly shocking."

McGinn: "The point at which we have to make cuts in other programs to fund this — and we know it's going to cost money, that's why we put aside $5 million, and we started our planning around that. We know it's going to cost money and we are prepared to spend money. But it's got to be not in a way that actually endangers or compromises our ability to provide public safety in other functions of government."

McGinn also said the proposed consent decree would hamstring the city's police force in the event of a large scale emergency, like last week's May Day protests.

McGinn says the city will formally respond to the Department of Justice this week.

City Attorney Pete Holmes briefed City councilmembers about the proposed changes this morning behind closed doors.

I'm Deborah Wang for KUOW News.

© Copyright 2012, KUOW



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