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Council President Burgess’ Statement on New Police Commanders

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/11/2015

Council President Burgess’ Statement on New Police Commanders

SEATTLECouncil President Tim Burgess issued the following statement regarding the announcement by Mayor Ed Murray and Chief Kathleen O’Toole of New Police Commanders:

“Chief O’Toole has taken a significant step toward rebuilding the public’s trust and confidence in our Police Department.  It’s a bold step. A very correct step.

“In December 2013, Councilmember Harrell and I introduced legislation lifting a 35-year ban on the hiring of police commanders from outside the police department.   We introduced that ordinance because we wanted the Chief of Police to be able to recruit the best possible candidates for these very important positions – from inside or outside the department. Lifting the ban on external candidates was a necessary legislative step toward the reform we want — reform that results in effective policing, fair and professional policing, constitutional policing.

“Chief O’Toole has wisely balanced knowledgeable inside candidates with proven leaders from other departments and the private sector.  My colleagues and I are convinced that with strong leadership at the top, our police officers will meet our expectations. They will serve with distinction. They will protect our neighborhoods, our people and property.

“There is much yet to do, but with Chief O’Toole’s leadership, with the leadership of these new commanders, I believe we will continue to make great progress toward the policing we all want for Seattle.

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