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Lessons from Seattle PD's transparency project




The LAPD Police Commissioners Board hears a report from the Inspector General about officer-involved shootings and assaults on officers.
The LAPD Police Commissioners Board hears a report from the Inspector General about officer-involved shootings and assaults on officers.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

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With local and national spotlights on officer involved shootings, there's been lots of discussion about the need for greater transparency in law enforcement.

One of the ways to get there is with body cameras. Seattle's Police Department is leading the way in this arena. The change started in 2014 after a lengthy investigation by the Department of Justice three years earlier.

The DOJ found a "pattern or practice of excessive force that violates the US constitution." The City of Seattle disagreed with the DOJ's findings, but vowed to increase transparency by equipping officers with body cams. 

The department appointed a new police chief, who brought on Mike Wagers, named him Chief Operating Officer, and charged him with overseeing the new project. He joined us to talk more about it.