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Transforming Tacoma

Transformation at the City of Tacoma 


Comprehensive Change that Fundamentally Enhances the Way We Operate as an Organization

As a community, and as a nation, we are living in historic times. One often hears that "transformation" is needed. But what does that really mean? At the City of Tacoma, when we say that, we are talking about "systemic transformation". 

Systemic Transformation
For us, that means comprehensive change that fundamentally enhances and radically re-imagines the way we operate as an organization and, ultimately, the way we serve you.

Right Now, We Are Working to Analyze All Aspects of Our Organization 

Where there are interlocking, interrelated moving components, we are looking at how they work independently and in conjunction with one another. Where additional information is needed, we are conducting the research necessary to obtain that information.


We Are Committed to a Data-Driven, Community-Led Process Informed by Experts

Because for true "systemic transformation" to happen we must work with our community to look at all of it, including root causes, in great detail. This will be a data-driven, community-led process that is informed by experts.

We must analyze what we stand for as an organization, and ensure that the services we provide equitably serve every member of our community, including Black community members and other community members of color.


We must evolve. It is time.


Interactive Tool Showing How the Tacoma Police Department is Transforming

We have created a web map to visualize the laws, ordinances, regulations, policies, initiatives and projects that Tacoma Police Department (TPD) are using to drive transformation.


View the Interactive Web Map Highlighting TPD Transformation (Kumu.io Presentation)

21st Century Policing Solutions Recommendations & Reports

21st Century Policing Solutions Recommendations for the Tacoma Police Department Now Available

The City of Tacoma engaged 21st Century Policing (21CP) Solutions to:

  • Conduct an assessment of the Tacoma Police Department’s current practices, procedures, and operations.
  • Develop pragmatic, specific recommendations and reforms that the Tacoma Police Department and the City of Tacoma can implement to strengthen the Tacoma Police Department’s relationship with Tacoma’s community; ensure that the Tacoma Police Department’s activities and operations are safe, just, effective, lawful, and consistent with national, best, emerging, and transformational practices.

As this report notes, Tacoma’s elected officials, community organizations, and members of the Tacoma Police Department (TPD) described to 21CP Solutions a commitment to comprehensively re-imagining public safety in Tacoma going forward. 


21CP’s final recommendations were reviewed by TPD Command staff. The final report responses were discussed, next steps identified, and current state captured. These were then assigned to the corresponding Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) objective in the Safety priority area, bringing the 21CP findings into alignment with the broader citywide transformation initiative.


Read their full Recommendations for the Tacoma Police Department


Read the Prioritization and Implementation Matrix of 21CP’s Recommendations


Community's Police Advisory Committee Preliminary Response to 21CP Recommendations


TPD's Status Updates on Progress on 21CP Recommendations 





Workforce Equity Study Results Now Available

In ongoing efforts to ensure equity and fairness in our personnel policies and practices, we hired a consultant in 2019 to conduct an organizational Workforce Equity Study. On May 11, 2021, during a joint Study Session, the City Council and Public Utility Board were presented with a final report that provides a detailed look at the organization's employment data, including the geographic area from which it hires, its outreach and hiring practices, and employee advancement, retention and inclusion. The report also offers insights gleaned from interviews and focus groups with City employees.


Our next steps will be to thoroughly review the findings and recommendations in this report, analyze how these findings relate to the City's overarching long-term transformational goals and objectives, and establish a plan for implementation.


Read the Workforce Equity Study Report


Staffing and Alternative Response Studies for Tacoma Police Department Now Available 

The Matrix Consulting Group was retained by the City of Tacoma to conduct a Staffing Study the for the Tacoma Police Department. The May 2020 report outlined the overall staffing needs for the Tacoma Police Department. Then, in alignment with transformation efforts, an additional study was commissioned in May 2021 to provide analysis and recommendations on the feasibility of alternative response to mental health crisis, homelessness-related issues, and certain types of calls for service traditionally handled by police officers that could be handled by civilian responders.

 Read the Alternative Response Study for the Police Department


21CP Alternate Response Memo


Read the Tacoma Police Department Staffing Study 

Making Change to Create an Equitable and Anti-Racist Tacoma

In June 2020, the Tacoma City Council passed Resolution 40622This resolution formally acknowledges that the City of Tacoma’s existing systems have not adequately served the needs of everyone in our community and, in particular, have not adequately served the needs of Black community members and other community members of color. 


It affirms the City of Tacoma’s commitment to improving existing systems for all community members, with the first stated priority being local policing. It also requires specific directions for the City Manager to follow. 


What Resolution 40622 Directs the City Manager To Do

Resolution 40622 Directs the City Manager to:

  • Keep anti‐racism as a top priority in the process of budget development and prioritize anti‐racism in the planning of an economic recovery strategy following COVID‐19; and
  • Prioritize anti‐racism in the evaluation of new policies and programs as well as the sustained and comprehensive transformation of existing services, with initial priority being given to policing; and
  • Assess the current state of systems in place at the Tacoma Police Department in consultation with police reform experts, with specific attention to how current policies, staffing levels, training, and accountability systems align to create just outcomes and use this assessment as a foundation for the work of comprehensive transformation; and
  • Actively seek and implement interim administrative changes and process improvements that can legally be taken immediately to improve transparency and accountability in policing; and
  • Work with the City Council to build a legislative platform at the local, state, and federal level that transforms institutions impacted by systemic racism for the greater equity and well-being of all residents of Tacoma, Washington state, and the United States.


City Manager Will Also Provide Regular Systems Transformation Updates

At the second City Council Meeting of each month, City Manager Elizabeth Pauli, will be providing updates to the Council and the public on the status, recent accomplishments, what is in progress or what is up next, and will provide links to detailed reports on the work the City is doing for transforming Tacoma. 


New Interactive Anti-Racist Systems Transformation Timeline Launched to View Progress

The City of Tacoma’s interactive Anti-Racist Systems Transformation Timeline may be filtered to display events by project, Council Priority Area, or show all events within a specified time range. Click on the blue folder icon in the table below the timeline to access supplemental documents or media. (Please note: work is ongoing in all Council Priority Areas. As directed by City Council resolution 40622, transformation efforts regarding Community Safety have been prioritized so there are more events on the timeline relative to other priority areas.)

View the City Manager's Update Reports

Here are the reports from the City Manager, Elizabeth Pauli, on System Transformation Updates presented to the City Council. Starting in January 2022, the presentations are given monthly on the second Tuesday of the month.


Presentation Date Link to the PowerPoint
January 10, 2023 Presentation (English)
December 13, 2022 

Presentation (English)


November 8, 2022 Presentation (English)
September 13, 2022  Presentation (English)
August 9, 2022  Presentation (English)
July 12, 2022 Presentation (English)
June 14, 2022 Presentation (English)
May 10, 2022 Presentation (English)
April 12, 2022  Presentation (English)
March 8, 2022  Presentation (English)
February 8, 2022 Presentation (English)
January 11, 2022  Presentation (English)
December 14, 2021  Presentation (English)
December 7, 2021  Presentation (English) 
November 30, 2021  Presentation (English) 
November 23, 2021 Presentation (English)
November 16, 2021  Presentation (English)
November 9, 2021  Presentation (English) 
November 2, 2021 

Presentation (English)

City of Tacoma Organizational Approach to Anti-Racist Transformation

October 26, 2021 

Presentation (English)

Finalized Lexipol Contract

October 19, 2021  Presentation (English)
October 12, 2021  Presentation (English)
October 5, 2021 Presentation (English)
September 28, 2021  Presentation (English)
September 21, 2021  Presentation (English)
September 14, 2021 Presentation (English)
August 31, 2021  Presentation (English)
August 24, 2021  Presentation (English)
August 17, 2021  Presentation (English)
August 10, 2021  Presentation (English)
August 3, 2021  Presentation (English)
July 27, 2021  Presentation (English) 
July 20, 2021  Presentation (English)
July 13, 2021  Presentation (English)
June 29, 2021 Presentation (English)
June 22, 2021  Presentation (English)
June 15, 2021  Presentation (English)
June 8, 2021 Presentation (English) 
May 25, 2021  Presentation (English)
May 18, 2021  Presentation (English)
May 11, 2021 Presentation (English)
May 4, 2021  Presentation (English)
April 27, 2021  Presentation (English) 
April 20, 2021 Presentation (English) 
April 13, 2021  Presentation (English) 
April 6, 2021  Presentation (English)
March 30, 2021  Presentation (English)
March 23, 2021  Presentation (English)
March 16, 2021 Presentation (English) 
March 9, 2021
Presentation (English)
March 2, 2021 Presentation (English)
February 23, 2021  Presentation (English)
February 16, 2021
Presentation (English)
February 9, 2021
Presentation (English)
February 2, 2021 Presentation (English)
January 26, 2021  Presentation (English)
January 19, 2021 Presentation (English)
January 12, 2021  Presentation (English)
January 5, 2021 Presentation (English)
December 29, 2020 Presentation (English)
December 15, 2020 Presentation (English)
December 8, 2020 Presentation (English)
December 1, 2020 Presentation (English)
November 24, 2020 Presentation (English)
November 17, 2020 Presentation (English)
November 10, 2020 Presentation (English)
November 3, 2020 Presentation (English)
October 27, 2020  Presentation (English)
October 20, 2020 Presentation (English)
October 13, 2020 Presentation (English) 
October 6, 2020 Presentation (English)
September 29, 2020 Presentation (English)
September 22, 2020  Presentation (English)
September 15, 2020 Presentation (English)
September 1, 2020  Presentation (English)
August 25, 2020  Presentation (English)
August 18, 2020 Presentation (English)
August 11, 2020 Presentation (English)
August 4, 2020 Presentation (English)
July 28, 2020 Presentation (English)



City Council Priorities Established to Guide the Development of City Processes

Along with passing Resolution 40622, the Tacoma City Council also established Council Priorities in early 2020. These priorities guide decisions about how to respond to the impacts of COVID-19, how to spend the City’s budget, how we partner with our community, and how we develop City processes. Our priorities begin with Tacoma 2025, the City of Tacoma’s Strategic Plan, which captured the vision of more than 2,000 community members. To help guide City of Tacoma decision-making, especially during a crisis or budget deficit, they identified the essential services needed to create and maintain a high quality of life for all Tacoma residents. 


Council Priority: Community Safety  Council Priority: Health Council Priority: Housing Council Priority: Access  Council Priority: Livable Wage Jobs Council Priority: Belief and Trust


Previous Reform Efforts in Tacoma Have Served as National Models

In the past, the City of Tacoma’s reform efforts have served as a model for other cities across the nation, including the establishment of the Human Rights Commission, the Community's Police Advisory Committee, the Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the Office of Equity and Human Rights. It also included the launch and continuation of the Project PEACE initiative as well as the creation of the Equity Index as a guide to policy making.


Get Involved with Heal the Heart of Tacoma, a Community-Led Effort to Transform Tacoma into an Anti-Racist City

Heal the Heart of Tacoma, established in October 2020, is grounded in Resolution 40622. It aims to spark long term change that strengthens and heals communities, provide the foundation necessary to achieve greater equity in service delivery, and increase trust in local institutions.

Heal the Heart of Tacoma will be community-led, and invites local organizations to bring their unique resources and subject matter expertise to the table as they work with the community to transform Tacoma into an anti-racist city. 


Learn more and get involved with Heal the Heart of Tacoma


Your ongoing engagement is vital as we move forward to Transform Tacoma.


Upcoming Events/Community Feedback Opportunities

Community Events 

We know residents of our city have long been committed to anti-racism work and so we want to hear from you. We want to work alongside you. Transformation can only happen through dialogue, engagement, and learning—together.


Upcoming Events

  • CPAC Survey--The Community's Police Advisory Committee is currently collecting community feedback via surveys in English, Spanish (coming soon), and Vietnamese and hosted a community forum to better understand if Tacomans prefer it to continue in an advisory role or shift to an oversight model. If interested, community members can go to www.cityoftacoma.org/cpac to watch the informational video and take the survey.
  • Fair Housing presentations and booths (Spanish and English)--Human Rights staff will present to several community groups, and staff booths at community events throughout September and October to raise awareness of Fair Housing. The information is available in Spanish and English.
  • Free Women in Public Safety event--An informational session/panel will be held on Friday, September 23 followed by a hands-on event on Saturday, September 24, 2022. Participants will learn about the Tacoma Fire Department & Tacoma Police Department's recruit programs directly from women in the field.
    • Grit City Trees applications due September 30--The goal of the Grit City Trees program is to equitably grow happy and healthy neighborhoods through community tree planting. With tree canopy coverage as low as 2.9% in some historically under-served neighborhoods, it is vital for the City to provide resources to support tree growth in these communities. With this in mind, the limited resources and support we have available through the Grit City Trees program will be for Priority Planting Areas (neighborhoods identified as “Moderate”, “Low” to “Very Low” Opportunity on Tacoma’s Equity Index). Though we prioritize applications, all Tacoma property owners with eligible right of way planting opportunities are still encouraged to apply.
  • CPR Sunday--On October 9, 2022, at Foss High School, the Fire Department are actively working to improve access to CPR classes across the City. Go to www.cityoftacoma.org/cpr to register for CPR Sunday on October 9, and view other CPR classes offered by the Fire Department throughout the year.
  • Various City departments are attending community events to share city information and resources with the community members.

Concluded Community Events

Community Invited to Meet the Tacoma Police Chief Finalists

Join us at this virtual event and meet our Tacoma Police Chief finalists. Learn more about the candidates on the Police Chief Recruitment page.

December 7, 2020

Event begins at 6 PM
Click this link to join. 

Event ID: 876 3649 3418
Passcode: 573265
You can also join by calling (253) 215-8782. 

The event will also air live on TV Tacoma, which can be streamed at tvtacoma.com or watched on your television on Click! (via Rainier Connect) in High Definition on Channel 512 or in Standard Definition on Channel 12 within the Tacoma City limits and in Pierce County. In the City of University Place our Standard Definition Channel is 21 or on Comcast, in High Definition on Channel 321 in Tacoma and Pierce County.  Our Standard Definition Channel is 12 within the Tacoma City limits and Channel 21 in Pierce County. TV Tacoma is not available on the Comcast system in University Place.


Community Conversation on the Chief of Police Recruitment on October 29, 2020

We want to hear your thoughts on the recruitment for our next Police Chief. Please join us for a presentation on the recruitment, learn how you can participate, and to give us feedback on what is important to you. We also want to gather community input that will inform the development of interview questions for candidates.   

Event Details: 
October 29, 2020
6 – 7:15 PM
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83545753757?pwd=VFcxRmR1VUR5d1BJT3A5ZkFEWFBhZz09 
Event ID: 835 4575 3757
Passcode: 758963
Call in: (253) 215-8782


For more information on this process, visit our Police Chief Recruitment web page.


Community Conversation Discussing Body-Worn Cameras for Tacoma Police 

A community conversation was held on August 13, 2020 and was titled "Body-Worn Cameras for Tacoma Police: A Community Conversation" and anyone from the community was invited to attend.

Starting in January 2021, the City of Tacoma will begin to require Body-Worn Cameras to be worn by the Tacoma Police Department (all uniform and police officers). Body-Worn Cameras are used by law enforcement to record interactions (both audio and visual) with the community and to gather video evidence at crime scenes.


At this Community Conversation, hosted by Tacoma's Community's Police Advisory Committee (CPAC), the City of Tacoma gave a presentation on Body-Worn Cameras and then the attendees broke out into groups to provide feedback on the program.