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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Seattle Interim Police Chief in the News

The interim Seattle Police Chief is in the news and it appears another controversy maybe brewing. I read in the following:

"The Seattle Police Department will hold a media briefing Thursday evening to comment on a video that shows newly-named Interim Chief Jim Pugel "poking fun at the homeless," according to a spokesperson.

The video was produced in 1986 and is set to a tune called "Under the Viaduct," a parody of the song "Under the Boardwalk."

Detective Renee Witt said the department released the video in the interest of "full transparency."
Lyrics in the video include, "Under the viaduct, we'll be drinking our booze. Under the viaduct, our sores continue to ooze."  A disclaimer added to the video released Thursday says:  The following video was produced in 1986. The skit was created in a misguided attempt at humor and added to the end of a training video. Upon viewing it, commanders judged the content to be inappropriate. Copies were ordered destroyed. Pugel was named interim chief after Chief John Diaz announced his retirement earlier this month.  Views, opinions and the understanding of key causes of homelessness have changed dramatically since the 1980's.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I hope folks keep in mind this was a long time ago and the interim chief has obviously dedicated his life to the City of Seattle.
Here's the link to the article and Youtube video.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Seattle Police Chief Retires

Seattle PD has been in the spotlight for the last few years for a series of negative incidents.   The latest Chief, John Diaz was appointed in 2010.  He has been with the department about 30 years.  Shortly after he was promoted to chief, the department was rocked with a several high profile use of force complaints.  The U.S. Department of Justice investigated and found a pattern and practice of excessive force within the department and appointed a federal monitor. 
Seattle Police Chief John Diaz speaks to the media at a news conference Monday morning to announce he is stepping down from the top job in the department. (Photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times)

Chief Diaz seemed like a genuine man who was trying to improve matters, but despite his efforts it seems too many things went wrong.   How much control he had over those incidents would be interesting to know. 

Here is the article from the Seattle Times

Power of Social Media

"41,664" is the number of people who read my April 3 Facebook page post.  I knew there were a lot of people who read it based on the number of comments and "likes," but I had no idea it would be that many. 
Considering there are only a couple hundred hits on this blog with each post, it appears Facebook might be a better way to engage.  It seemed many of the negative comments on the Facebook post were from folks who do not live here and have no idea on the impact synthetic drugs are having in our community.  I ended up spending a fair amount of time correcting inaccurate information that people had posted.  A few people still seem to believe that the synthetic drug case we've been working on begins and ends with DPD.  I corrected a woman who had made a post that was so far off the mark I could not leave it alone.  To my surprise she identified herself as a local grade school teacher that thought her comments could only be seen by her friends.  She was apologetic and said she was embarrassed. 
While I want to be accessible, the real problem is there simply is not enough time in the day to get it all done.

Thursday, April 4, 2013