Report: Former SPD Chief Carmen Best in running for NYPD commissioner job

Nov 4, 2021, 12:22 PM
Chief Best, SPD, police...
Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Carmen Best stepped down as Seattle’s Chief of Police in September 2020, having spent her time since then working as an analyst for NBC News. Now, she may be in the running for a new job on the other coast with the New York City Police Department.

Former SPD chief calls for police departments to ‘evolve and reimagine’ policies in 2021

According to a report from the New York Post, Best is among the candidates that could succeed current NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. The list said to be under consideration by newly-elected New York Mayor Eric Adams includes “six to eight woman,” with Best “leading the pack,” alongside Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and former Newark Police Chief Ivonne Roman.

According to the Post, “Best caught the incoming administration’s attention with her refusal to give into overreach from the city council and her track record of standing up for the rank-and-file, including sacrificing her six-figure salary by stepping down.”

Best announced her departure from SPD in August 2020, just days after Seattle City Council approved a handful of cuts to the police department’s remaining budget for that year.

At the time, she said she had “no regrets,” and has since indicated that she would “not rule anything out” regarding whether she would consider returning as a police chief in a new city.

SPD officers line 5th Avenue to honor Chief Best on her last day

Her final year as police chief wasn’t without controversy either, after facing criticism for officers deploying tear gas in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on numerous occasions during spring and summer social justice protests.

Questions also swirled for months around SPD temporarily abandoning the East Precinct, with both Best and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan denying having given the order. That ultimately led to the formation of the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, where at least two people were killed as part of a series of shootings in the area.

Best later clarified that it was frontline commanders who made the decision to empty the precinct. The city’s Office of Police Accountability ruled in early October 2021 that SPD did not violate department policy.

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Report: Former SPD Chief Carmen Best in running for NYPD commissioner job