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Pressure on to re-do Seattle police chief search

Carmen Best. (KIRO 7 image)

Carmen Best was passed over as Seattle’s next police chief and now there’s an effort underway to pressure the city for a re-do.

The website SPDchief.com says, “The current search process ignored transparency and willfully omitted diverse community interests and perspectives” and urges people to attend the City Council’s Monday afternoon meetings.

RELATED: Three candidates considered for next Seattle police chief

The search process was “compromised and skewed to serve the political interests of a few,” according to the website signed by Enrique Gonzalez — “Member of the Seattle Police Chief Search Committee; Co-chair, Community Police Commission.”

“I completely understand that people are disappointed, for various reasons; that perhaps their candidate didn’t make it through,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “And I love Carmen Best.”

Best was on a list of five finalists selected by a police chief search committee and many thought she would make the final cut. But she was not among the final three that were forwarded to Durkan in May.

Durkan said that they have both agreed Best will stay on the force and help the police department move forward.

Finalists for chief include: Eddie Frizell, inspector with the Minneapolis Police Department, serving for 25 years, also a colonel with the National Guard; Cameron McLay, former Pittsburgh police chief, also spent 29 years with the Madison Police Department in Wisconsin and Ely Reyes, assistant police chief for the Austin Police Department serving for 22 years, also served with US Army and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Durkan is expected to interview each candidate and make a selection before making an appointment in late June or early July.

“I’m very much looking forward to moving this process forward and getting a new chief of police,” she told KIRO Radio. “I’ll say at the same time — and people have to understand — that I have the deepest regard for Carmen Best. I chose her to be our interim police chief. I have confidence in her. We’re working together … We’re going to be continuing to work together to keep the people in Seattle safe.”

Correction: In a previous version of this report, Cameron McLay was described as a former police chief of the Madison Police Department. He retired from the department as a captain.

 

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