Seattle police's approval rating hits new high, survey says

SEATTLE -- The number of people who approve of the job the Seattle Police Department is doing hit a new high, according to a survey released by the Federal Monitor.

Read the full survey, here.

The survey also said fewer people are reporting problems with the department and are more likely to approve of their experience if stopped.

According to the survey, Seattle residents give the SPD a 72% approval rating, an increase of 12 percent over the last two years.

Much of that improvement is among African Americans. They gave the SPD a 49% approval in 2013 and a 62% approval in 2016.

Latinos gave the department a 54% approval in 2013 and a 74% approval in 2016.

Whites gave a 60% approval in 2013  compared to 72% in 2016 and Asian Americans gave a 67% approval in 2013 and 72% in 2016.

Disapproval of SPD has also trended down getting a 20% disapproval rating this year, with similar movement across racial and other demographic lines.

“The report commissioned by the federal monitoring team underscores the progress being made by the Seattle Police Department in addressing the gulf that exists between officers and the communities they serve,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “And we continue to work to repair the trust with our police department. Earlier this month, we sent the strongest police accountability proposal in Seattle’s history to the federal judge for a review. Once we hear from Judge Robart, we will quickly send this reform package, which includes permanent and meaningful civilian oversight, to the City Council for their input and approval.”

“Nothing is more important than community trust,” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “This latest survey shows exciting progress, and affirms our commitment to providing fair and equitable police services to our community. It is a testament to the men and women of the Seattle Police Department, who have demonstrated their ability to adopt new methods, and it is also a testament to the community who has been so willing to partner with us moving forward.”