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City searches for next Police Chief, asks for input

Mayor McGinn is searching for a new chief of police and has asked the public to help develop the selection criteria. Former Chief Gil Kerlikowske left the Seattle Police Department upon his appointment as the nation’s drug czar by President Obama last year. The Seattle Police Chief Search Committee, a 26-member citizen panel, has been tasked with the job of narrowing the pool of potentials down to three finalists to recommend to the mayor in May, in the hopes of making a final selection by June.

The search committee is posing the following questions to community members:

  • What qualities are you looking for in a new Police Chief?
  • What is the most important public safety issue in Seattle?
  • What does the Seattle Police Department do well?
  • What changes would you like to see?

To encourage community input the city has set up three ways for those interested to respond – by attending one of three upcoming public forums, visiting the new website or dialing into a dedicated phone line set up for the search.

The first meeting will he held tomorrow, Wednesday, February 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center, located at 10510 5th Ave NE. The first two hours of the meeting has been allotted for public comment, with the final hour reserved for the search committee “to begin developing competitive selection process and assessment criteria.”

The next two meetings have been set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17 (at Franklin High School, located at 3013 Mount Baker S.) and Friday, February 26 (at New Holly Gathering Center, located 7054 32nd Ave. S.) Language interpreters will be available at the third and final meeting in the following languages: Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Amharic, Oromiffa, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali, and Tigrinya.

Download the meetings flyer here (.pdf). Can’t make it to a meeting? Answer the committee’s four questions online or over the phone by calling 206-684-CITY (206-684-2489).