Seattle's top cops about to undergo new training as part of DOJ reforms

SEATTLE -- Seattle's top cops will soon undergo new training as the city moves forward with the reforms ordered by the Department of Justice and the initiatives from its own 20/20 plan.

With Seattle's top police staff behind him, Mayor Mike McGinn says all sergeants and commanders will undergo extensive training designed to help them become stronger leaders.

The ongoing 20/20 plan is part of the city's response to a Department of Justice investigation which found a pattern of excessive force and led to the reforms now required for better training and more sergeants to oversee patrol.

"Sergeants are out there everyday, setting tone, communicating values and helping and procedures," McGinn said.

Next week, sergeants will begin training that includes ways to improve performance, effective use of technology in supervision and policing, and how to address biased policing.

"I believe they're going to see better supervision, especially with the training academy," said Sgt. Gabriel Shank. "We're going to be standardizing everything they should expect at least the same type of response from the sergeants."

In October, commanders will go through a one week training program focused on leadership, promoting the department's values and dealing with the demographics of Seattle.

"It's incredibly important that our officers have experienced supervisors who are what we call on street educating and leading to a better police department," said interim Police Chief Jim Pugel.

McGinn also wants to create a basic training academy in Seattle. Their recruits are currently training at the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy.