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Longtime TPD legal advisor tapped for Seattle police oversight post

Lisa Judge, the top lawyer for the Tucson Police Department, has been chosen as the first inspector general for public safety for the city of Seattle.

A search committee there named Judge as the top choice on Wednesday.

"The Office of the Inspector General for Public Safety was created by the full Council in May of 2017 as part of the city's reformed civilian, police accountability framework," Seattle officials said.

"The IG's primary purpose is to provide systemic oversight of the management, practices, and policies of the Seattle Police Department and the Office of Police Accountability and oversee ongoing fidelity to organizational reforms implemented pursuant to the goals of the 2012 federal Consent Decree in United States of America v. City of Seattle," officials said.

If confirmed, Judge will take office immediately and the begin a full six-year term in January 2019. Her starting salary would be $174,00 plus benefits.

"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," Judge said in a news release from Seattle officials.

Judge, a 1994 University of Arizona College of Law graduate, has been TPD's legal advisor since 1996, dealing with use-of-force issues, labor and employment laws, public records and internal investigations.

Judge told Seattle officials that "although I am not currently a resident of Seattle, members of my immediate family are residents of Seattle and the surrounding area, so I have a keen interest in the success of the community."

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In her application, Judge wrote of consulting with Seattle police as Tucson created its Critical Incident Review Board and Force Review Board, and about her involvement in the Tucson department's work to re-examine interactions with people who are mentally ill or in crisis.

Judge was an ACLU-approved trainer in 4th Amendment law and anti-bias refresher classes that a judge ordered for personnel of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department.

Seattle officials noted that Judge "is Latina and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community."

"On behalf of the Seattle Police Department, I'm happy to welcome our new inspector general," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said in a news release. "She understands what Seattle has done to achieve 'full and effective' compliance, and our commitment to meaningful and lasting reforms. We wholeheartedly support Ms. Judge in her role, and are confident that she will lead the Office of Inspector General with integrity and professionalism, promoting accountability and engagement."

"As our city's first Inspector General for Public Safety, Lisa Judge's first job is to continue the hard work of building trust between our community and our Seattle Police Department,' said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who negotiated the consent decree as a U.S. attorney.

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