GENERAL VALLEY NEWS
Seattle's Police Chief releases statement regarding outside employment for officers
Following media report of allegations of "intimidation and price-fixing" in outside jobs
September 21, 2017
(SEATTLE, WA.) - Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole released a statement Wednesday saying she wanted to address recent media reports of a combined FBI and internal OPA (Office of Professional Accountability) investigation into the outside employment jobs of some Seattle Police Officers:
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole.
That statement is below:
Last April, I was made aware of serious allegations against a small number of Seattle Police officers relating to management of secondary employment. Given the nature of the allegations, I immediately contacted the OPA Director and the Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. We met shortly thereafter and agreed that an investigation would be launched.
Although it would be entirely inappropriate for me to share facts specific to an ongoing inquiry, I want to emphasize, as I have consistently, that we take all allegations against SPD personnel very seriously.
On those fortunately few occasions where criminal activity is alleged, we routinely work with our law enforcement partners to ensure investigations are conducted thoroughly and fairly.
When investigations are completed we are transparent with results and hold personnel accountable when charges are sustained. We owe that to both our community and also to members of our department whose reputations and integrity should not be impugned by the actions of others.
Apart from and prior to receiving these allegations, SPD managers have long identified secondary employment as a significant risk when reviewing department business practices.
While acknowledging that the business needs of our community often require the engagement of SPD officers off-duty, current practice limits SPD’s visibility into the management, assignment, and performance of this work.
The Department is renewing its request to City partners to assist in developing systems and legislation to allow the Department to address and mitigate identified concerns."
The Seattle Times reported today 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 Wednesday 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."