The groups issued their plea at a City Hall news conference, three days after the federal monitor overseeing court-ordered reforms to curb excessive force and biased policing in the Seattle Police Department filed a memorandum outlining a slower, more deliberate approach.

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A frustrated coalition of Seattle community groups called Monday for the immediate adoption of long-delayed police-accountability measures, including proposals to make the Community Police Commission (CPC) a permanent body and bolster the independence of the police department’s internal-investigation watchdogs.

The groups issued their plea at a City Hall news conference, three days after the federal monitor overseeing court-ordered reforms to curb excessive force and biased policing in the Seattle Police Department filed a memorandum outlining a slower, more deliberate approach.

The monitor, Merrick Bobb, wants to complete more assessments of the department’s progress before meeting with parties involved in the reforms and then making recommendations to the court no later than Jan. 20 on how to proceed with police-accountability systems.

Mayor Ed Murray, who has supported the CPC proposals, said in a statement Monday he would adhere to the monitor’s timetable.

Among the community groups urging faster action were the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, El Centro de la Raza, United Black Clergy, the King County Native American Leadership Council and CAIR-Washington, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Nearly 50 community organizations, including many who signed a 2010 letter asking for a federal investigation of the SPD, sent a letter to Bobb on Monday, saying “further delay in moving forward with the full package does not meet the expectations of our communities for substantive and timely reforms.”

Estela Ortega, of El Centro de la Raza, said the delay in passing accountability reforms could result in a lack of trust in police that may soon spill into the streets.

“We’ve waited too long” for reforms, added Diane Narasaki, executive director of the Asian Counseling and Referral Service and former co-chair of the Community Police Commission (CPC).

Narasaki said Bobb only promised to initiate a “process,” without committing to substantive change.

Lisa Daugaard, co-chair of the CPC, declined to comment Monday.

The split over how to proceed reflected the latest tension between those who want the City Council to immediately move forward with the CPC-backed measures and a more deliberate pace set by U.S. District Judge James Robart, who is presiding over the reform effort with Bobb acting as his agent.

The 15-member CPC, which is made up of civilian volunteers, has repeatedly described its role as the community’s voice in the process, and the community groups expressed that view Monday.

But some people involved in the effort have grown concerned the CPC has strayed from its original mission as a bridge to the community and, instead, sought to grab power, according to a source close to the process who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity.

In August, Robart asked key players to submit ideas for a comprehensive approach to establishing accountability systems in the police department. His request stemmed, in part, from his strong criticism during a June hearing of efforts to expand the authority of the CPC without the court’s approval.

Robart instructed the city and the U.S. Justice Department, the parties to a 2012 consent decree requiring reforms, to provide a “framework” to him. He also directed the CPC, established as part of the consent decree, to submit a response, along with the civilian director and civilian auditor of the police department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which oversees internal investigations.

With those responses in hand, Bobb filed his memorandum Friday. He noted the responses, along with a recent review of the police department’s Force Review Board and soon-to-be-completed assessments of the OPA, would help develop a “better framework” for independent oversight of the police department.

Among the reforms that could emerge is the creation of a civilian inspector general, an idea previously suggested by a consultant to Murray.

The CPC was designed to serve as temporary body, with the authority to issue reports on the reform process. But it sought to become permanent and expand its role last year when it drafted a package of police-accountability measures.

Murray adopted many of the recommendations in November 2014 but proposed legislation stalled over some differences with the CPC. After months of talks, the two sides reached an accord in June with a plan to submit the package to the City Council.

But Robart halted the plan at the June hearing, saying the consent decree can’t be amended without the court’s approval.

Key planks of the CPC-backed plan include provisions to strengthen the independence of the OPA director and auditor. Both could only be removed by the mayor for cause, with the agreement of the City Council and input from the CPC.

The mayor also could remove the CPC’s executive director only for cause, with the concurrence of the City Council.

On Monday, Murray said, “Passing and implementing police accountability reforms must follow the process set forth by the Court and the Monitor. I am encouraged that the Monitor has now set a timetable to respond to the joint recommendations.”

City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who chairs the council’s public-safety committee, said Monday he agrees with the community groups that action is needed. While he agreed the CPC should become permanent, Harrell said the community groups will have to wait for him to introduce legislation.

“We cannot jump ahead of the judge and the monitor,” he said. “The court has made that clear.”

Councilmember Lorena González expressed support for making the CPC permanent and echoed the community concerns about delay. “It’s a stark example of the disconnect between the Federal Judge’s and the Monitor’s opinion on the progress made by SPD, as opposed to the community’s experience and interpretation of that progress,” she said in a statement.

The Justice Department, in a statement Monday, cited the “important contributions” of the CPC and other community groups to the proposed accountability measures.

“On Friday, the Monitor proposed a path forward for reviewing that legislation,” the statement said, welcoming it as next step and pledging to work with the community, the monitor and the city to move the discussion.