SPD leaders brings 20/20 plan to the public

SEATTLE -- Seattle police met a deadline this week to show their list of department fixes to the federal government, and on Thursday officials reached out to the public to explain their positions.

Police are keeping their talks with the Department of Justice confidential, but police leaders did confirm they had given the DOJ the department's official response to claims that Seattle police use excessive force.

Commanders are detailing their vision for a revamped police department using their 20/20 plan, which they say addresses many of the justice department's concerns.

It's an ambitious undertaking that aims for more transparency, more training and a more thorough review of citizen complaints against Seattle police.

Members of the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce got an outline of the 20/20 plan on Thursday.

"That's what 20/20 is about. It's about us taking that move forward," said assistant police chief Mile Sanford.

But the bullet points may not go far enough to satisfy the DOJ, which has ordered Seattle police to curb cases of excessive force and ordered extensive changes to achieve that.

"I can say there're hundreds of various recommendations within that document that we received from DOJ," said chief John Diaz.

City leaders won't talk specifics about their response to the DOJ, but they openly tout the 20/20 plan, which entails 20 reforms over the next 20 months.

"I think it's a great start," Sanford said. "It's a 20-month plan though, so if we are looking for it to be done yesterday, it's not. It will be done 20 months from now."

The push for change comes after the DOJ found what it called "a pattern and practice" of excessive force by Seattle police.

The DOJ wants the city to sign a binding contract and pact for an outside monitor to make sure federal recommendations are carried out. Mayor Mike McGinn said it would cost the city $41 million a year to implement all the reforms, and said the money would cut into essential programs.

"It means we start going into other public safety functions like fire, like human services, or like the programs we provide for youth development in our parks, our youth violence prevention initiative," McGinn said.

Much is riding on these negotiations to reach a settlement. Iif they city fails, the federal government could sue in an effort to force the adoption of the changes they want.