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Friday, May 2, 2014

Seattle's Final Three Police Chief Candidates: "They're Not All Perfect Gods—Everyone Is Human."

Posted by on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Last week we told you about the top four candidates to become Seattle's next police chief. Today there are three. (Patrick Melvin from the Salt River, Arizona police department is no longer in the running.) Mayor Ed Murray's police chief search committee is recommending Robert Lehner of Elk Grove, California; Frank Milstead from Mesa, Arizona; and Kathleen O'Toole of Boston. (The former two are current police chiefs, the latter is a former police commissioner.)

State Senate candidate Pramila Jayapal and former King County Executive Ron Sims, the committee co-chairs, were effusive about all three, describing them as "change agents" and "reformers." Ron Smith, the president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, said he's "very excited" about them, and added, "I'm hoping at the end of five years people will look to Seattle as a model—much as you saw last night during May Day."

The committee's 12 members voted unanimously for them, the committee members said, based on a criteria that looked for:

- Cultural competency

- The ability to build community relationships, and to change the culture and attitudes related to race and social justice at SPD

- The ability to uphold high standards for officers, and take a proactive approach to preventing re-incarceration and rearrest.

Sounds great, right? They've all had experience working with the Department of Justice and with introducing cutting edge technologies to their departments (shoulder cameras, for example), the committee said.

"Those who don't want change [within SPD] should look for other careers—being blunt, as a taxpayer," Sims said. "It's very clear that we will meet and exceed the Department of Justice's order." During site visits around the country, he said, "we heard no adverse community comments" and people even begged the committee to leave them be and not remove such "exceptional" leaders from their communities. Sims' praise for them was so over the top that Jayapal interjected, laughing, "They're not all perfect gods—everyone is human."

Murray is expected to choose one of the candidates in mid-May.


Comments (13) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Remember May 4 is Make Your Social Avatar a pic of Leia do that Star Wars gets more Diversity day

All the nominees are comfortable breaking the State Constitution and spying on citizens with drones and cameras without warrants btw.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 2
I guess shoulder cameras are cutting edge. I'm hoping to find a penis camera on eBay.
Posted by dnt trust me on May 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
(So that) geesh it's like SpellCzeck hates words (if for of)
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
seatackled 4
During site visits they heard no adverse community comments? Did they not go to Boston?…
Posted by seatackled on May 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM · Report this
The Police Chief candidates are all HUMAN? Now there's a super insightful headline. Keep up the good work, Slog!
Posted by Always east coaster on May 2, 2014 at 1:48 PM · Report this
treacle 6
I dunno, I guess I'm biased against cops from Arizona for some reason that involves racial profiling and dangerous police sentiments.
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
rob! 7

Well. Thanks for clearing that up.
Posted by rob! on May 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Hawke 9
Arizona. 'Nuff said.
Posted by Hawke on May 2, 2014 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Yeah. I'm Arizona shy.
Posted by Ruthie5230 on May 2, 2014 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Jayapal is a self-serving nincompoop whose entire field of "expertise" is pro-illegal-immigrant agitation, so what the hell is she doing on this committee? Oh right: "Forget it, Jake, this is Seattletown."
Posted by Billy Chav on May 2, 2014 at 6:54 PM · Report this
They're totally going to pick O'Toole. The other two men are red herrings.
Posted by junipero on May 2, 2014 at 7:06 PM · Report this
So, it's not enough to attempt to steal Sacramento's NBA team or donate money to scuttle their arena deal, now we're going after their police chief too.
Posted by ChefJoe on May 2, 2014 at 7:10 PM · Report this
But I do expect Sims to be an expert on high standards. Nobody has ever accused him of impropriety or foolishly creating boondoggles.
Posted by ChefJoe on May 2, 2014 at 7:16 PM · Report this

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