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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Washington State Focus: Seattle Police Department LGBTQ Advisory Council

    Seattle Police Department LGBTQ Advisory Council
    Third Tuesday of every month
    Pacific Gender Center 1812 E Madison
    Seattle, Washington 98122

    The Seattle Police Department formed Precinct Advisory Councils (PACs) in the late 1980s as one of the Department’s first community policing efforts. The goal of the councils was to have groups of citizens, who were geographically based, become more knowledgeable about law enforcement in their communities and more invested in partnering with the Department on public safety issues.

    In the mid-1990s, Seattle Police observed that established precinct advisory groups were not reflective of the diverse communities living in the City, and believed it was critical to create an avenue for the Department to reach out and develop relationships with minority communities as well as a way for their diverse voices to be heard. The goal was to create more diverse advisory groups to work with SPD on challenging issues and to educate the communities about the role and function of police.

    In 2002, SPD assigned at least one police officer to work in a liaison role with each of the demographic advisory councils. In addition to the police officer liaisons assigned to each council, there is one designated Command Staff to act as an additional liaison between the Department and the advisory council. Each council also has a support staffer. This structure provides council and community members with access to the Department not only at the 'street' level but at the Command 'policy and decision making' level. It also provides an opportunity and an effective way for issues of concern to be made known to the Department and collaboratively resolved.

    Officer Liaisons attend advisory council meetings and spend non-enforcement time with community-based organizations referred by councils. They also problem solve issues with council and community members, educate the community about the Department and its role, respond to crisis situations in their respective communities, and facilitate meetings regarding police and citizen interactions.

    FOCUS AREAS & OBJECTIVES

    Relationship building: Break down negative perceptions of law enforcement in minority communities by building relationships between individual officers and members of minority communities

    Education and Training: Improve officer training and education regarding cultural norms that may impact police and citizen interactions. Enhance the understanding of the role of police through educational materials tailored to specific communities and translated into appropriate languages.

    Dialogue: Increase ongoing dialogue between Seattle Police and minority communities about perceptions of law enforcement in the community.

    To get involved, show up to a monthly meeting and/or contact: Daniel Dueball: Daniel.Dueball@seattle.gov

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