This afternoon, the City Council voted 8-0 to confirm Carmen Best as Chief of the Seattle Police Department.
This morning the City Council moved Carmen Best’s nomination as Chief of Police out of committee, setting her up for an easy confirmation vote on Monday — though there’s a hint that it might not be unanimous.
When Judge James Robart found the City of Seattle in initial compliance with the consent decree earlier this year, it started a two-year countdown for a “sustainment period” before the consent decree is lifted. During that period, the city agreed to provide quarterly reports detailing status of reform efforts, statistics on policing and use of force, and continuing efforts to reform the police department’s practices.
The first of those reports was filed with the court on Tuesday. The department also submitted some proposed changes to its “use of force” policy for Robart’s approval.
As part of its confirmation process, the City Council has posted a list of the questions it directed to Carmen Best, Mayor Durkan’s nominee for Chief of Police, along with Best’s responses.
This morning, the City Council kicked off its confirmation hearings for Carmen Best as Seattle’s next Chief of Police.
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.
For each of the past three years, a Seattle University research team has conducted a survey of Seattle residents to assess their views on public safety issues in their communities and on the police. Called the Seattle Public Safety survey, it is commissioned by the Seattle Police Department as part of their Micro-Community Policing Plan (MCPP) to help it understand how best to engage with each neighborhood in Seattle. The most recent survey was fielded last October and November, and the results were published last month. Yesterday, representatives from the Seattle University team and from SPD briefed the City Council on the report. The briefing was high-level, but there’s an ocean of data on individual neighborhoods included, so here’s a deeper dive into what’s notable and meaningful in this year’s report.
In a surprise turn of events this evening, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office announced that former Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay had withdrawn from consideration as one of three finalists to replace Kathleen O’Toole as Seattle’s Chief of Police. In addition, current Interim Chief Carmen Best, who was one of the semi-finalists but had not made the final cut, took McLay’s place as a finalist, sidestepping an ongoing controversy over why she was not originally selected as a finalist.
While the Mayor’s Office has been moving forward with the selection process for a new Chief of Police, the Community Police Commission (CPC) has continued to scrutinize the process used to narrow the candidate list to three — and press for increased transparency.
There was a lot more heat than light today when it came to the blowback from last Friday’s announcement of the three finalists for Chief of Police.