Tacoma to get outside review of police department’s practices amid calls for reform

Tacoma to get outside review of police department’s practices amid calls for reform

TACOMA, Wash. — The city of Tacoma will pay a consulting firm up to $250,000 to review current practices of the Tacoma Police Department, according to a contract obtained by The News Tribune.

The contract, executed with 21st Century Policing Solutions, or 21CP Solutions, went into effect June 18.

The contract outlines two main tasks:

Content Continues Below
  • Provide immediate counsel and advice to city leaders to address issues, challenges and opportunities related to policing and public safety in Tacoma.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of Tacoma Police Department’s current practices, procedures and operations.

The second task includes evaluating various TPD policies, including use of force, discriminatory policing and bias-free policing practices, officer misconduct and accountability, officer recruitment, hiring, and retention, and more.

The contract also outlines convening focus groups with TPD personnel and engaging with people to “hear history, experiences, values, concerns and ideas for the future.”

The scope of the work is expected to be completed by June 16, 2022, and the city will pay no more than $256,960, according to the contract.

The contract comes after global protests over police brutality and the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. In Tacoma, the death of Manuel Ellis on March 3 while being arrested by police has sparked out outrage and calls for police reform.

Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli referenced working with the consulting agency at a City Council meeting on Tuesday about police reform. Pauli said the past work of 21CP Solutions contributed to the development of the city’s own Project Peace.

“I brought that group on to start talking with me about what it is that I needed to be aware of and what did I need to learn to again be able to guide the police department and to assist the council in this transformation,” Pauli said.

21CP Solutions is a consulting firm based in Chicago that aims to help communities and organizations address public safety challenges. The firm came to be following the development of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing by President Barack Obama in 2014.

“21CP is a collective of national experts, from veteran police chiefs and preeminent scholars to leading civil rights lawyers and police union representatives — all united behind a common goal of furthering a new, shared vision of public safety that works for everyone,” the city’s contract states.

Pauli said she’s working with Charles Ramsay, a founding partner of the consulting firm who brings more than 50 years of experience in advancing law enforcement and was appointed by Obama as co-chair of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in 2014.