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Mayor Woodards Regarding Administrative Decisions on Tacoma Officers

A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards Regarding Administrative Decisions on Tacoma Officers


January 17, 2024



Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards

Regarding Administrative Decisions on Tacoma Officers

“The death of Manuel Ellis in 2020 brought intense heartbreak and renewed urgency to the long-standing need for meaningful police reform in Tacoma. No one has felt this heartbreak and this urgency more than the family and friends of Manuel Ellis.

On January 16, Police Chief Avery Moore and City Manager Elizabeth Pauli shared their administrative decisions. I want to be clear that this is not the end of the commitments that the City Council made when it passed Resolution 40622.


We have made many changes to ensure the City of Tacoma is leading with equity, and that our police department’s practices reflect the values of our community, including:

  • Hiring Chief Avery Moore, a Police Chief that understands that effective policing must be rooted in care and compassion,
  • Overhauling and expanded our use of force policy. That policy now goes beyond what the Attorney General’s model policy or state law require, 
  • Outfitting our officers with Body-Worn Cameras and In-Car Cameras, and
  • Advancing Alternative Responses by creating a new, unarmed Community Service Officer position – providing the right response for the call.

This is a partial list, and we know we still have a lot of work to do. As we look at our next steps, one area of focus will be community oversight. We will work closely with the Community’s Police Advisory Committee (CPAC) and anything we do together will be deeply informed and coordinated by their partnership and recommendations. 

We are creating a position now that will serve as a liaison and consult with CPAC to proactively increase transparency. In the weeks to come, I look forward to opening a conversation with CPAC to ensure all police policies serve the community equitably, which includes ongoing opportunities to review policy, so they reflect the current best practices.    


Regardless of what changes have been, or will be made, these last four years have been long and weighty. The life of Manuel Ellis has been lost, and an entire community has been affected. I promise you, we are moving forward.


I believe in the strength of our community and, together, we will engage in hard conversations, emerge stronger, and chart a path to healing in the face of what we know will be great challenges. Together, we can move forward, united in our commitment to heal and build a better future for all and remembering the past so we will not repeat it.”