GENERAL VALLEY NEWS
Seattle Mayor Signs Exec. Order Re: Outside Employment for Police Officers
September 28, 2017
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- On Wednesday Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, a former police officer in the city when he was a young man, signed his first Executive Order. It requires the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to take "in house" and manage all secondary (outside) employment for SPD officers.
Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess
The order follows controversy over a media report last week, and an active FBI probe, that suggested allowing off-duty work by officers "to continue unregulated threatened the department’s integrity."
For years police officers themselves, without rigorous oversight by higher ups in the department, controlled and doled out the highly-sought after, high paying outside jobs such as uniformed security for events.
The order establishes an internal office within SPD to manage and direct police officers’ secondary employment and also establishes an interdepartmental taskforce to develop recommendations on how best to implement this reform.
“It is clear that we need a total overhaul of how this city handles the practice of police officers taking secondary jobs,” said Mayor Burgess. “Bringing the management of SPD secondary employment in-house is both in line with national best practices and consistent with recommendations from City Auditor, the Director of the Office of Police Accountability, and the federal monitor.”
The Executive Order directs SPD, with support from the Seattle Department of Human Resources and other city agencies to establish an internal office to regulate and manage the secondary employment of SPD employees.
This office will be directed and staffed by civilians and will be cost-neutral to the City. It is anticipated the new system and regulations will take effect in 2018, according to a statement from the Mayor's office.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole issued a statement about the new executive order saying, "I appreciate the Mayor’s leadership and support on this important issue. We will continue to engage collaboratively, and with a sense of urgency, to develop and implement a modern system for the management of secondary employment that promotes accountability efficiency, and transparency."
Last week O'Toole released a statement in response to a Seattle Times newspaper article. That report said that more than five months ago the SPD's chief operating officer warned that allowing off-duty work by officers "to continue unregulated threatened the department’s integrity" and sought solutions from top city officials, according to an email obtained by The Seattle Times.
That report quoted Brian Maxey, in what the paper said was an email he wrote April 7 and sent to Chief O'Toole, the city's Attorney Pete Holmes, the office of the Mayor and other city officials, “I think we are at the crossroads: either we accept the status quo or the City mount a concerted effort on breaking the back of what may be corruption, even if technically legal."
The newspaper said that email "warning" came shortly before O’Toole referred to the FBI some allegations of "intimidation and price-fixing" by some officers who were working "lucrative off-duty jobs directing traffic or providing security at parking garages and construction sites."
STORY TAGS: Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, executive order, Seattle Police officers secondary employment, off-duty jobs, Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole