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Statement by Councilmember Harrell on Mayor’s appointment of Kathleen O’Toole as Chief of Police

City of Seattle

Councilmember Bruce A. Harrell

Statement by Councilmember Harrell on Mayor’s appointment of Kathleen O’Toole as Chief of Police

SeattleCouncilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Mayor’s appointment of Kathleen O’Toole as Chief of Police:

"I had the opportunity to meet Ms. O’Toole during the preliminary interview process, and she impressed me with her proven record in changing and reforming a department, her confidence, and her ability to lead and inspire officers.

"The Council’s Public Safety committee will now conduct a thorough and transparent confirmation process and consider public feedback at each committee hearing. Council will turn over every rock to ensure this is the bold, transformative leader Seattle is looking for in its next Police Chief. The committee will move with a sense of urgency, and I anticipate that Council will vote on confirmation by the end of June.

"I look for the new Chief of Police to 1) embrace and implement new technologies like body cameras to enhance police accountability and public safety; 2) implement a new Business Intelligence System that will function as a police performance management tool and early intervention system, with centralized software tools for data-driven policing to reduce crime and predict where crime is likely to occur; 3) review and assess the Department’s management, organizational structure, and resource deployment; and 4) communicate and engage with minority communities and ensure the diversity of Seattle’s neighborhoods are well represented in the department.

"Most importantly, the Chief must bring the department to full compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement and translate the DOJ policies into the routine of the day-to-day operations of the officers.

"The police department must commit to be a learning organization; a department willing to admit its mistakes and be honest and transparent with the public and proactively police their sworn duties under the new use of force policies.

"The Mayor, City Council, and City Attorney are all committed to working together and providing the necessary resources that will help the incoming Chief bring the department into the 21st century.

"I would also like to thank all the candidates who saw Seattle as an exciting and extraordinary opportunity to be its next Police Chief."

Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Chief of Police Webpage

Tentative Schedule (subject to change):

Wednesday, June 4, 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee
Kathleen O’Toole will appear, make opening comments, and respond to initial questions from Councilmembers. Public comment will be accepted at the beginning of the meeting.

Thursday, June 12, 5:30 p.m. at offsite neighborhood location, TBD
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee Public Hearing on appointment

Wednesday, June 25, 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers
Kathleen O’Toole will appear and complete final round of questioning from Councilmembers.
Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee meeting and vote on confirmation.

Monday, June 30, 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers
Full Council Final Action on Confirmation

[View in Council Newsroom]

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