Carmen Best nominated to Chief of Police; Council sets confirmation schedule

This morning, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that she is nominating Interim Chief Carmen Best to be Seattle’s next Chief of Police, subject to confirmation by the City Council.

Best’s nomination had a rocky road; she made the list of five semi-finalists but then wasn’t selected as a finalist. After outcry from stakeholders and the convenient withdrawal of another finalist, Best was added as a finalist ten days ago.

Council member Lorena Gonzalez, the chair of the City Council’s public safety committee, has announced the schedule for Best’s confirmation process:

  • Wednesday, January 25, 9:30am: first briefing and discussion on the nomination.
  • Wednesday, August 1, 6:00pm: a public hearing on the nomination.
  • Wednesday, August 8, 9:30am: a second discussion and possible vote in committee recommending confirmation of the nomination.
  • Monday, August 13, 2:00pm: Full Council vote on the confirmation, if voted out of committee on the 8th.

Gonzalez circulated a memo to her colleagues last week informing them that she is assembling a questionnaire for the nominee to complete, and asking Council members to submit questions to her for inclusion by the end of this week. She encouraged questions around five general themes:

  • Budget;
  • Management and Operations;
  • Police Accountability and Reform;
  • Community Policing;
  • Criminal Justice Reform and Diversion.