The inspector-general job will provide broad oversight of the management, practices and policies of the Seattle Police Department and the Office of Police Accountability, which conducts internal investigations.
After a 10-month nationwide hunt, the Tucson Police Department’s longtime legal adviser has been nominated to serve as the Seattle Police Department’s first civilian inspector general, Councilmember M. Lorena González and the search committee who chose her announced Wednesday.
The selection of Lisa Judge, who has held the Tucson post for 20 years, is subject to confirmation by the City Council.
If confirmed, Judge will oversee an office created as part of historic police-accountability legislation passed by the council last year.
The office is viewed as having a critical role in sustaining federally mandated, court-ordered reforms to address excessive force and biased policing under the city’s 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department.
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The inspector general will provide broad oversight of the management, practices and policies of the Police Department and the Office of Police Accountability, which conducts internal investigations.
In Tucson, Judge’s duties “put her on the forefront of many issues that communities in Seattle face today, including innovations in interactions with people suffering with mental illness or in crisis,” according to a news release on her nomination.
She also oversaw officers as they put a priority on treatment over incarceration in a department with a Critical Incident Review Board and Force Review Board built around transparency and community participation, the release said.
In accepting this position, Judge said, “This is a very exciting time for law-enforcement reform, and this endeavor provides an important opportunity to do work of real value in furtherance of that reform. I am eager to work for the community of Seattle, and I look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Community Police Commission, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Seattle Police Department that is equal parts respect, trust, and healthy skepticism.”
González, who heads the council committee overseeing public safety, and Mayor Jenny Durkan cited the importance of the position as the city enters a two-year period where it must show its court-approved compliance with the federal reforms is locked in place.
“Ms. Judge has a background in police reform, an understanding of police culture and policing, a commitment to procedural justice and an articulated vision on how accountability and community coexist,” González said.
Judge is Latina and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, according to the news release. She will appear at 9:30 a.m. on April 25 before González’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans and Education committee to begin her confirmation process in council chambers.