Seattle asking for public input during police chief search
The search is on for Seattle’s police chief. But first, the city is reaching out for input on who that should be.
Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office is conducting an online survey aimed at gauging public opinion around a potential leader of the Seattle Police Department. The city asks Seattleites what they want in a new police chief with nine questions. Five of the questions deal with survey participants’ demographics — where they live, ethnicity, gender, etc. The remaining four questions inquire as to what the new chief should prioritize; their qualities; and what the search committee should be looking for.
The city currently has an interim chief — Deputy Chief Carmen Best — after Kathleen O’Toole stepped down at the start of 2018. O’Toole spent three years on the job. She said that she was not “walking away” from her position. Rather, she noted that her contract coincided with former Mayor Ed Murray’s time in office. Murray resigned late last year after a slew of sexual abuse allegations.
The mayor’s office is conducting a series of outreach efforts around the police chief search. Community meetings and workshops are planned in addition to the online survey. A 25-member search committee will produce a list of candidates for Mayor Durkan in May.
The search committee is developing the job description for the new chief. It will work with a search firm to find potential candidates.
Seattle residents can write an email to [email protected] for additional feedback.
A new police chief is expected to be hired by June 2018.