SPD partners with Center for Policing Equity to reduce racial bias in public safety

SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department announced Wednesday a new partnership with the Center for Policing Equity, an organization reportedly known for reducing racial bias in public safety.

According to a release from SPD, CPE is a research and advocacy organization that produces analyses to identify and reduce the causes of racial disparities in policing.

CPE is expected to closely analyze the functions of SPD, including training, policies, accountability measures and impacts on communities of color, the release stated. This is expected to happen over the next few months and as the department receives input from multiple community members and organizations.

After CPE reviews the collected data, they will convert the findings into action plans to “ensure” SPD eradicates public safety inequities going forward, officials said.

According to SPD, CPE has partnered with more than 25 police departments nationwide and has demonstrated “the transformative impact of data-driven interventions” over the last decade.

“The organization is committed to bridging the divide of communication, mistrust and suffering in America’s most vulnerable and neglected communities and will not stop working until disparities in policing are abolished,” Chief Adrian Diaz said in the release. “We are eager for the CPE to begin that meaningful work here.”

The release also stated:

"After the murder of George Floyd ignited a world-wide Civil Rights reckoning, police departments across the country are now seeking expert guidance on how to reimagine public safety. The SPD is honored the CPE has chosen to focus its considerable expertise in Seattle; to leverage data and behavioral science to direct our resources towards better public safety.

"The Center for Policing Equity will be a part of the SPD’s Functional Analysis Interdepartmental Team (IDT), as detailed in Mayor Jenny Durkan Executive Order 2020-10: Reimagining Policing and Community Safety in Seattle Community Safety Executive Order. This vital partnership between the SPD and CPE will begin immediately with community engagement and result in a final report of recommendations, expected to be submitted to the Seattle Police Department and Mayor Durkan’s office next March.

“It is my hope this critical collaboration will help identify where the SPD is not meeting public expectations and will provide a roadmap for reinventing community wellness, with justice for all as our collective goal.”