Seattle officially has a new Police Chief: Kathleen O’Toole

Kathleen O’Toole is being sworn in right now as Seattle Police Chief (update – live video feed is over, archived video added below), right after the City Council voted 8-1 to confirm her appointment (the “no” vote was Councilmember Kshama Sawant).

The official announcement notes that she “began work with the Boston Police Department in 1979 and has over three decades of experience as a police officer, Commissioner, Chief Inspector, and attorney.” She has listed her four top priorities as “1) restoring public trust, 2) restoring SPD pride and professionalism, 3) addressing crime and quality of life issues, and 4) promoting best business practices” and promises “during the first 90 days to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the police department, which would culminate in a plan of action with measurable goals and objectives.” The City Council, meantime, told her their major expectations – “focused and proactive crime reduction using evidence-based methods to reduce the most serious neighborhood crime problems; positively change the culture at SPD and attitudes related to the practice of collecting and reporting the required data for the six new policies developed as part of the Settlement Agreement; build community relationships in all neighborhoods with a consistent visible presence; and, prioritize buildout of the Business Intelligence System.” Chief O’Toole will be accountable for a $290 million budget and 2,000 SPD employees.

10 Replies to "Seattle officially has a new Police Chief: Kathleen O'Toole"

  • West Seattle Hipster June 23, 2014 (4:43 pm)

    Any word on who cast the vote against her? I have an idea but am not sure.


    Best of luck to you Chief O’Toole.

    • WSB June 23, 2014 (5:07 pm)

      Sorry, I intended to mention that. CM Sawant. We are mobile right now but I’ll add when back at desk.

  • Anonymous June 23, 2014 (6:26 pm)

    Her first assignment should be that investigation of County and city police drug scandal which surprisingly has been swept under the radar by media

  • Garden_nymph June 23, 2014 (6:33 pm)

    I wish Chief O’Toole the very best and look forward to the change she brings.

  • Mr Matt June 23, 2014 (6:49 pm)

    It was exactly who you thought it was, West Seattle Hipster. :D

  • flimflam June 23, 2014 (7:28 pm)

    1st order of business – open your eyes.

  • clark5080 June 23, 2014 (9:50 pm)

    Will she become another Jose Banda?

  • Diane June 23, 2014 (10:02 pm)

    it would be helpful for people to watch seattlechannel video of today’s city council meeting to hear CM Sawant’s reasons that were very detailed about why she voted no

  • Diane June 23, 2014 (10:10 pm)

    very happy with this choice in hiring a highly experienced, educated, smart police chief (I learned today by watching the live meeting, that she also has a JD) and wishing her the best; just wish we could have given the bloated salary of the City Light CEO to her instead; imo, she’s taking on by far the most challenging job in our city and deserves the highest pay

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