Section 129: Office of Police Ombudsman

  1. A. The office of police ombudsman (OPO) is established in order to:
    1. help ensure that investigation of complaints against police officers are accomplished in a timely, fair, and thorough manner;
    2. provide visible, professional, independent civilian oversight of police officers;
    3. provide policy makers with recommendations on improvements to police policy, training and recruitment; and
    4. reassure the public that investigations into complaints and allegations of police misconduct are conducted in a timely, thorough, and objective manner.
  2. The OPO shall have the following responsibilities, as well as other duties and functions established by ordinance:
    1. The OPO shall actively monitor all police department internal investigations.
    2. The OPO shall act as an observer to any administrative or civil investigation conducted by or on behalf of the police department when an employee of the police department is involved as a principal, victim, witness, or custodial officer, where death or serious bodily injury results, or where deadly force was used regardless of whether any injury or death resulted.
    3. The OPO shall independently investigate any matter necessary to fulfill its duties under subsection (A) of Section 129, within the limits of the Revised Code of Washington, Washington State case law, Public Employment Relations Commission decisions, the Spokane Municipal Code, and any collective bargaining agreements in existence at the time this amendment takes effect, but only until such agreement is replaced by a successor agreement.
    4. The OPO shall publish reports of its findings and recommendations regarding any complaints it investigates.
  3. The police ombudsman and any employee of the OPO must, at all times, be totally independent. Any findings, recommendations, reports, and requests made by the OPO must reflect the independent views of the OPO.
  4. The duties and functions of the OPO shall be established by ordinance consistent with the City Charter. All authority, duties and functions granted to the OPO shall be consistent with the City's managerial prerogative authority under Washington State labor law.
  5. If any portion of Section 129 is found to be pre-empted by any existing collective bargaining agreement, it shall be deemed severed from this section and unenforceable until such time as the applicable collective bargaining agreement has been replaced by a successor agreement.
  6. The City shall not enter into any collective bargaining agreement that limits the duties or powers of the OPO as set forth in Section 129 unless such limitation is required to comply with existing federal or state law.

Effective Date: February 26, 2013
Ordinance C34941 Section 1

Section 130: Police Ombudsman Commission

  1. The office of police ombudsman commission (“commission”) is established in order to determine whether the OPO has performed his or her duties consistent with this Charter, the SMC and applicable collective bargaining agreements in existence at the time this amendment takes effect, but only until such agreement is replaced by a successor agreement. The commission may direct the OPO to complete specific functions required under the Charter, SMC or collective bargaining agreement, including performing additional investigative actions necessary for the OPO to comply with his or her duties and responsibilities.
  2. The commission shall consist of a minimum of five members, two nominated by the mayor and appointed by the city council and one member from each of the three city council districts nominated and appointed by the city council. Members shall serve for a three-year term and may be appointed for additional three-year terms. The commission shall select its own chair from its membership who shall be responsible for the administrative functions of the commission. The duties and functions of the commission, procedures for increasing the size of the commission by adding additional commissioners and the minimum qualifications for commissioners shall be established by ordinance consistent with the City Charter. All authority, duties and functions granted to the commission shall be consistent with the City's managerial prerogative authority under Washington State labor law.

Effective Date: February 26, 2013
Ordinance C34941 Section 1