Mayor announces he’s doing performance audit of police department

Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson said he has hired the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) to conduct a performance audit of the Edmonds Police Department, “to help assist our next police chief in leading our police department into the future.”

This audit, the mayor said in a news release, “will enable the person selected as our next chief to fully understand what the department – and more importantly the community – need and desire from police services in Edmonds.”

The mayor announced in a Facebook video last week that he has hired the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also based in Washington, D.C., to conduct the police chief search. The cost of the search or how it is being funded has not yet been disclosed. On Tuesday, we submitted a question to the mayor’s office  about the cost of the audit, but as of Wednesday afternoon had not heard back.

According to the mayor’s news release, the audit will “do a deep dive into the police department’s service calls and responses, as well as look at all facets of policing and how they impact the community.”

These include:

  • Conducting a data-driven forensic analysis to identify what is driving overtime, workloads and service demands and any potential gaps in patrol coverage.
  • Identifying and recommending appropriate staffing and deployment levels for every operational and support function in the department.
  • Examining the department’s organizational structure and culture, including the qualitative aspects of patrol.
  • Performing gap analysis, including operational readiness, comparing the “as is” state of the department to the industry’s best practices.
  • Recommending a management framework to ensure accountability and improved performance.
  • Evaluating the implementation of community policing, in quantifiable and anecdotal terms, and identify improvement opportunities where appropriate.

“Resulting from this analysis, the study will create a short- and long-term strategic plan which will help the city to determine its future service levels, including performance management and the department’s basic ability to carry out its mission,” the news release said.


28 Replies to “Mayor announces he’s doing performance audit of police department”

  1. I think this is a good idea, given the criminal justice issues in the United States. I hope it is not seen as a negative, accusatory action but as proactive and positive.


  2. This is data driven analysis. I am interested in seeing both the baselines, the comparative benchmarks, and the goals. Hopefully the cost of the study will provide an ROI (both explicit and implicit) through increased value and community safety. This is a good thing.

    What will be interesting is the editorial portion of the report, if there is any. Editorial portions tend to get elected officials in trouble. Sticking with data, on the other hand, that is fairly and accurately represented, with the detailed assumptions, is hard to argue with. Objectivity and subjectivity are the majority of the administration’s problems right now….

    Still interested, and have asked repeated times for the cost – I do not want to have to do a FOIA – there are a million other things City Staff should be working on, and my guess is the contract is sitting on the Mayor’s desk with highlighted dollars on it. Maybe he will share that during the state of Edmonds webcast.


  3. Search on google says that Huntington Park, ca, did an almost identifcal audit with the same company in 2019 and it cost $58500 plus $5000 travel and expenses.


  4. How much have the police chief searches cost the taxpayers so far? Now you want to do a private audit of the EPD who is respected nationally? How much additional is that? This guy has no fiscal sense. Someone take the checkbook away. Unless I missed something revenue is down. Someone please help.


  5. I believe that is correct. But it could be an issue of just under $100k for the performance audit, just under $100k for the national police chief search and an additional unknown but substantial sum for a relocation package should the police chief appointee come from out of state. The net could be significant in terms of taxpayer dollars, and all within the mayor’s control.


  6. What about a performance audit on Mayor Nelson?? An audit on his use of public(taxpayer) funds…??? Follow the money…


  7. Push crime to the 99 corridor and contain it. Don’t eradicate it, contain it. Work in coordination with population management groups to create areas of controlled disadvantage. This is hyper cynical, but unfortunately too close to reality. At least the observation is free. Let’s see what the experts across the country glean, at a fee.


    1. Glen,

      You can use the Lexis/Nexis site to generate a crime map of Edmonds over the past year –

      Crime is pretty much centralized in that area already. It will be difficult to eliminate crime along Highway 99 completely, it is a main thoroughfare through the City, and traditionally, no matter what City you are in, they have the highest incidents of crime. With that being said, it is an indicator to me that the investment is needed most in that area for services and redevelopment.

      You can see that the map already focuses around Highway 99 – the further east towards 99, the more crime. That’s why I continue to push for action on 99 and the surrounding communities – I believe the Edmonds Police already spend a large amount of time there.

      My question has always been – if we want to revitalize Highway 99, and we want a strong community based presence, why not move the Police Department (and City Hall for that matter) out of the Bowl, on to Highway 99. That’s where investment is needed the most – instead, our main Police Station and City Hall are in the most expensive and probably most usable (for increased tourism, increased business/job opportunities, and increased small town downtown opportunities). Edmonds keeps their construction trucks and public works stuff by Highway 99, but it is not a good place for the Police of City Officials?

      Jump start redevelopment on Highway 99, find some underutilized property (I believe the McFinsters or whatever that site was on 99 is in Edmonds) build a new police station and Courthouse, do something different with the current police station.

      Or, we can put in another car dealership on 99. I am not sure if there is anything in the works for residential on 99.


  8. A performance audit of the Mayor and City Council seems more appropriate. Mayor Nelson has yet to take accountability for his missteps, along with several council members.


  9. As long as we maintain the Strong Mayor system we will have these problems of control and wasted money. It’s not going to change without a demand for change. Nelson is just the other side of the control coin. The last stupidity was a bridge to nowhere on the beach and a denial of housing issues and problems in Edmonds. I’m not sure I’m even going to bother to vote any more in city elections, as nothing ever really changes no matter who you vote for.


    1. Will someone step up and lead this change effort. If the majority of the community support such a thing lets get going. We need a LEADER.


  10. We could run a survey in the community for free ( or close) and get an assessment from residents who actually live here. No? Yes? Maybe? Stick a sock in it? Good idea? Bad idea? I have no clue?

    Seems that money could best be used for other things. Don’t know…just saying.


  11. At the time of this post, only 479 people have signed the “Drop the Mike” petition.

    I imagine anybody inclined to sign this petition is also internally pondering the false dichotomy that being against Mike Nelson is half way towards being for Donald Trump. It’s scary to put your name out there these days too. National politics is so fortified, that leaders could do absolutely anything and get re-elected. This is how people like Gov Ralph Northam and PM Justin Trudeau can get elected even after wearing blackface. Even after our Mayor poisoned the well with the Chief appointment and process, he’s going to “audit” the PD. Dare we wonder if he is going to search to see if anyone on the PD is a Republican or donated money? Did anyone on the PD sign this petition, or anyone related to anyone sign the petition? President Biden is doing what sounds to be the exact same audit of the Capital Police and National Guard.

    The Mayor won. It wasn’t hard to do.


    1. Great points, Matt. It is so disappointing these days to take a stand and then wonder what will happen to you. To be hated for supporting a mayor or a president, rather than be respected for that right, shows how far this country has declined morally. Political bullying is rampant!

      I have made a personal decision to continue exercising my right to choose the leaders I support, no matter the cost. However, the fear is real even on MEN, hence the reason for the echo chamber.

      I look forward to the comments on MEN becoming more equal in terms of both sides of the issues, but I won’t hold my breath. I do appreciate the readers/commenters who respect differing viewpoints and don’t attempt to silence through personal attacks.


      1. Dorian, I’m afraid the country is going to go through a divorce. For lots of marriage it’s easier to stay together for the sake of the kids or the bills. I think some states are going to have a mid-life crisis, and leave for for a designer single-payer healthcare plan with a convertible roof. Others are going to leave over immigration. My guess is that the south-east is going to secede first. The love is lost. He doesn’t listen to her anymore.


  12. Seems to be workplace retaliation by a leader that has shown poor judgement that was brought to attention by the workers collective bargaining unit. How many more possible workplace lawsuits is the mayor going to stack up as his legacy? Did the Mayor have the authority to enter the city into this contract without the City Council?

    To the four city council members still in the Mayor’s corner: How much longer are you going tie yourself to this lack of good judgement? It is directly reflecting on you.

    To the Mayor: Take a step back and a deep breath. I would like to give you a second chance, and you will need to earn it.


  13. I hope the investigation will include this: Why did the city pay money if there was no guilt?

    In addition, for future reference, here is a list of the Washington State officers who have been decertified and two of them on the list are from the Edmonds Police Department.—revocations-and-eligibility-reinstatements-(09-16-2020).pdf?sfvrsn=80736040_2

    Has Edmonds Police Department completed their mandatory training to satisfy the requirements of WA 139-11?:

    See also:


  14. A couple of reference points for the items that Dorian mentions:

    The other case, I was not a resident in 2007, and cannot seem to find much information (perhaps it was not a legal case, but an internal disciplinary action).

    The sexual harassment case was detailed extremely well in the Beacon Article, and there are multiple write ups in MEN. Apparently, the accused officer was demoted, then the Edmonds Police Officers Association and a Mediator found that the demotion was wrong, and the Officer was reinstated to the previous rank.

    Finally, I think the question is a good one, but does that need to be done via an audit? Has Edmonds completed the mandatory training in the time frame allowed by the law. If not, why – was funding provided from the City? Can someone from the City say yes or no?


  15. I just spoke with CJTC and was disappointed to learn that only one Edmonds Police officer has completed the mandatory training? This training is mandated by law, why isn’t EPD following the law? Does Lawless have an answer for citizens?


    1. In response to this comment, the referenced legislation the writer refers to is found in the newly enacted Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA), the training requirements referenced are found in WAC 139-11. I can’t speak to the information they may have received from the CJTC as there is no reporting requirement for this training at this time. As you can see by reading the WAC (as posted above) the first half addresses training that must be conducted by the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy with new recruits. The second half addresses training requirements of officers currently employed prior to December 7, 2019. Much of this new training is still under development by the CJTC. As you can also see by reading the WAC, compliance with these new training standards for incumbent officers is not required for departments until the year 2028 because the state recognized that such a program would take time to develop and implement.

      That being said, Edmonds PD is ahead of many other agencies as it relates to the implementation of training standards under WAC 139-11.

      For several years Edmonds officers have participated in various training on the topics of racial profiling and bias based policing. Most recently, following direction by then Assistant Chief of Police Lawless, officers were required to attend training facilitated by Dr. Bryant Marks on topics of identifying and managing bias in policing. Unfortunately, much of this training was disrupted and cancelled throughout 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic but the mission continues and officers have been able to resume some of this same training in a web-based forum.

      Combat First Aid was strongly encouraged training for all officers since 2013 and required for all officers since 2016. Edmonds officers have used this training many times to save the lives of individuals who have been shot or stabbed.

      Edmonds PD has 100% compliance in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), with all officers having completed the required 8-hour training in 2018. Fifteen Edmonds PD officers have also completed the more comprehensive 40-hour course.

      One of our Sergeants was a CJTC curriculum designer for the new statewide Patrol Tactics 24-hour Instructor course. We also have a Training Officer who has completed the Instructor Certification as well.

      All Edmonds Officers will be completing the 24-hour Patrol Tactics training identified in the WAC as part of required In-Service training in 2022.

      New hire officers since December 2019 have received a minimum 200 hours of violence de-escalation training in the Basic Law Enforcement Academy as now required by this WAC.


      1. That is impressive list of accomplishments. Way to be way ahead of the curve both in training and implementation.

        We very much appreciate your time in listing the details here.


  16. Sergeant McClure,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to the people who pay your salary. I hope to see you continue engaging in “community policing” on here and not just when you are, what appears to be, defensive.

    Please let me remind you that I940 was voted on and enacted by the people you are being paid to serve. It’s purpose is to “make our communities safer.” I hope you would agree that EPD could greatly benefit from these mandated trainings.

    I spoke with, the Deputy Director of CJTC who informed me that Edmonds only has one officer who completed the training. I’m not sure what you are referring to in terms of “reporting requirement?” Are you saying that information is incorrect? If it is, please be transparent and accountable to the people who pay your salary? Your words feel misleading to me. Required reporting or not, why isn’t EPD doing what the voters mandated? Why would an agency wait to receive this training, simply because they are given the date of 2028? How many innocent lives could be saved if EPD were ahead of the 8 ball on this training?

    I’m not sure where you got your information about EPD being “ahead of many other agencies,” with their one officer? Everett has 24 officers who have already completed the training and according to CJTC, are hugely successful in terms of being proactive and doing what is necessary to make their community safer. Even Lynnwood has more officers who have completed the training than Edmonds. I spoke with a Lynnwood sergeant yesterday who completed the training this past summer, during Covid.

    While I appreciate all the other training you mentioned, the voters have spoken. To be continued……


  17. Sergeant McClure (continued)

    With regard to all the training you mentioned, are you aware of WAC 139-11-030? I’m wondering if Lawless has been communicating with CJTC about possible waivers and/or substitutions regarding the other trainings you mentioned? In my conversation with the Deputy Director I didn’t hear her say that Lawless has even bothered to connect with their agency. I didn’t specifically ask though.

    Given the times we are living in where the public is losing confidence in the police, don’t you believe it is important to be accountable to the agency responsible for these trainings? The public has the right to know if the police are quickly engaging in the voter mandated trainings or if they are making excuses for dragging their heels. The smoke and mirror tactic of pointing to other trainings doesn’t fool the community any longer.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, it appears that you are now telling us that, “All Edmonds Officers will be completing the 24-hour Patrol Tactics training identified in the WAC as part of required In-Service training in 2022. Can we hold you accountable for that statement? Is there more training that will be required to follow the law and when will that be completed?

    Have you ever made any public statements about complying with this WAC so there is public accountability, or is this the first time you’ve addressed this issue?

    Again, I appreciate your willingness to read these comments and connect with the community. I thank you for your service and look forward to the next time I contact CJTC and they tell me that EPD is doing so much better in terms of making their community “safer.”


  18. Here is the direct piece from WAC 139-11-130:
    All peace officers certified in Washington before December 7, 2019, and lateral peace officers certified in Washington after December 7, 2019, must complete a minimum of forty hours of continuing de-escalation and mental health training every three years after receiving their initial peace officer certification. Incumbent peace officers must complete their first cycle of continuing de-escalation and mental health training by January 1, 2028.

    Based on this, all peace officers certified before 12/7/2019 and lateral peace officers certified after 12/7/2019 HAVE UNTIL JANUARY 2028 to get their training completed and then have to complete training every 3 years.

    Dorian: how can EPD be behind if they still have seven years to complete the training by law? Sounds like they are following the CJTC and WAC perfectly. The comment about “Lawless hasn’t even bothered to connect” is a pretty loaded comment especially when you yourself say you didn’t even bother to ask. You don’t know if he did or not.


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