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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sheriff, former Seattle civilian oversight director to hold policing forum Tuesday night

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and a former leader of the Seattle Police Department’s Professional Accountability Office will hold a community forum Tuesday night addressing civilian oversight of Spokane County law enforcement.

Kathryn Olson, who served as civilian director of Seattle’s internal investigations division from 2007 to 2012, has been meeting with local stakeholders in advance of a report she’ll issue at the request of the Spokane County Citizen’s Advisory Board. Tuesday’s event will feature Knezovich as well as representatives from the NAACP, Center for Justice and other local experts on law enforcement.

The forum will begin at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4340 W. Fort George Wright Drive. The agenda includes public comment on improvements to transparency and accountability in county law enforcement.

Hundreds signed a petition last year to increase the autonomy and authority of the Citizen’s Advisory Board in the wake of high-profile incidents involving the use of force by sheriff’s deputies, including the August 2010 shooting of Wayne Scott Creach outside his home in Spokane Valley. The board established bylaws and began publishing meeting minutes and agendas online following the petition.

Olson left the Seattle Office of Professional Accountability in 2012 amid concerns rigorous investigations were not resulting in enough disciplinary action against law enforcement officers, according to media reports.

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