Search for a new Seattle Police chief: Seeking your feedback

The city has just added a few new facets to the search for the next Seattle Police chief – including three public forums (none in West Seattle), a new website (here), and the chance for you to answer four key questions from the mayor, online or by phone if you can’t make the forums – read on for the official announcement:

The public is invited to offer feedback and help draft assessment criteria for Seattle’s next Police Chief during several upcoming public forums and through other means, including a dedicated telephone line and a new website launched today.

The first of three public hearings devoted to the Police Chief search is at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave NE, Seattle.

The first two hours of the meeting will be dedicated to public comments, with another hour set aside for the Seattle Police Chief Search Committee to begin developing competitive selection process and assessment criteria.

Here are the questions Mayor Mike McGinn’s Police Chief Search Committee is asking
of interested parties:

* 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?

Additional public hearings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Franklin High School, 3013 Mount Baker S., Seattle; and 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at New Holly Gathering Center, 7054 32nd Ave. S., Seattle. At the New Holly meeting, language interpreters will be available in Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Amharic, Oromiffa, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali, and Tigrinya.

In addition to the public meetings, residents are invited to find background material on the Police Chief search process, including links to online input, at a new website,

Residents also may call 206-684-CITY (206-684-2489) to offer answers to the Seattle Police Chief Search Committee’s four questions for the public, listed above.

Mayor McGinn will appoint a new chief in June to succeed former Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who is now the nation’s drug czar, subject to City Council approval. Kate Joncas and Charles Rolland are Co-Chairs of the mayor’s 26-member Seattle Police Chief Search Committee, which will recommend three finalists to the mayor in May.

The Southwest Precinct’s commander, Capt. Joe Kessler, is on the search committee.

4 Replies to "Search for a new Seattle Police chief: Seeking your feedback"

  • herewegoagain February 8, 2010 (7:22 pm)

    Those questions seem more like a new Mayor looking to make changes than trying to find a competent police chief. Trust me, they know what type of Chief they are looking for – soft on crime and a yes man/woman to the Mayor and City Council.

    Seattle has already poured over those questions in the past 10 years ad nauseum.

    How about ‘What is the biggest threat the police department face in the next 10 years?’
    ‘How can a new chief better support his department?’
    ‘What are your feelings about Seattle Police staffing levels staying the same since the 70s when the city has grown three times the size since then?’

  • KT February 8, 2010 (8:08 pm)

    This process is bordering on ridiculous. When is the person we elected to lead this city going to get involved? twenty-six member search committee, three public hearings, a web site, a special phone line…. This says the Chief will be selected in June. Of what year?

  • EastCoaster February 8, 2010 (8:09 pm)

    How much money (that the city doesn’t have) is being spent on this? Why is it all about talking and more talking and then pay others to study the talking??? Plus, quite frankly, the average citizen and the majority of the people on this “Panel” have no idea what police work is all about so their opinion is not as important as those who work in law enforcement. This mayor is more pathetic than the last….I never thought I would say that.

  • Pete February 8, 2010 (9:22 pm)

    Have we noticed that this is another McGinn initiative with meetings held in the community. Have we also noticed that none of these meetings are in West Seattle? Why must we cross the Duwamish to give our input? We represent 23% of the population of the City of Seattle on this side of the river but yet we have to cross the bridge to participate in these initiatives.

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