VIDEO: Carmen Best announced as Seattle Police Chief

(10:34 am: Clicking “play” should take you to the archived video of what was a live feed from announcement at City Hall)

9:47 AM: Ten days after she was announced as back in the running for the permanent job, Interim Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best is about to get it. That’s according to a media advisory from the mayor’s office, which says Mayor Durkan will make the announcement at 10 am. We’ll add the official news release when it’s available.

10:12 AM: We have the live announcement going in a stream from City Hall above right now. Durkan says “everybody knows” Chief Best and knows she can do the job. “She knows our city and our officers.” Chief Best says, “I know great things are ahead” and says she is “incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”

10:21 AM: The speeches are over and now it’s question time. First, the mayor announced there’s a 3:30 pm meet-and-greet at City Hall’s Bertha Knight Landes Room this afternoon for anyone who wants to meet the new chief (who does still need to be confirmed by the council), and she says they’ll be touring the city, visiting precinct roll calls, etc.

10:32 AM: The announcement event is over. The video window above should now take you to the archived video.

12:14 PM: After the jump (if you’re reading from our home page), the official news release:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan selected Interim Chief Carmen Best as the next Chief of the Seattle Police Department (SPD). Best, who previously served as Deputy Chief under Chief Kathleen O’Toole, is a widely-respected law enforcement leader who has been an instrumental part of implementing the historic reforms undertaken by the SPD.

“Getting the right Chief of Police is critical for our City. I have spent decades working in the criminal justice arena and led reforms efforts while U.S. Attorney. Based on my experience and after listening to our community members, studying background information, interviewing candidates, and thinking deeply about the qualities and characteristics that make a great police chief and an exceptional police department, I made my choice. I have no question that Carmen Best is the person to lead our City’s police department. Chief Best has a passion for her job, for our officers, and for our City,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “She worked in every neighborhood and understands the unique public safety challenges facing each community. She has an unparalleled work ethic and a deep understanding of our officers and our neighborhoods. Just as importantly, she is committed to the hard work of accountability and reform. For years, she has helped implement the reforms required under the Consent Decree, and like so many in Seattle, she knows that the job of reform is not done.”

In December, Durkan announced that she appointed Deputy Chief Carmen Best as the Seattle Police Department’s new Interim Chief of Police, effective January 1, 2018. As Deputy Chief, Best oversaw the Patrol Operations, Criminal Investigations, Special Operations Bureau, and the Community Outreach section. Best has worked for the Seattle Police Department since 1992. Prior to her current post, Best served at nearly every level of the Department, rising through the ranks of police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy chief.

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve as Chief of Police in this great city—a city that I love, with a department that I love. I am committed to the safety, equity, unity and diversity of our city, and fair and just treatment for all,” said Chief Carmen Best. “As the new police Chief, I’ll continue to help lead our Department through reform. As we enter the next phase of the consent decree, we will move ahead with a culture of continuous improvement and innovation at the Seattle Police Department. This is what I expect, and what our community deserves.”

The Mayor’s nomination is subject to City Council confirmation.

18 Replies to "VIDEO: Carmen Best announced as Seattle Police Chief"

  • KrazzieK July 17, 2018 (10:15 am)

    Congratulations Carmen😀!!

  • Um, No! July 17, 2018 (10:42 am)

    I’m fine with the Best selection.   Although I worry about her being just another puppet of the Mayor’s office.  Hopefully, she can stand tall and push back to do what makes sense.  I truly want her to succeed. The disappointment is that Mayor Jenny yet again flip flops.   Best didn’t even make the final three cut and after some real public push back/pressure and a convenient withdrawal by one of the finalists,  Mayor Jenny put her back in!     First the Head Tax and now Police Chief.   Way to be decisive and a leader Jenny!  Or, not.  The mayor’s office and SSC is a joke. 

    • Chuck July 17, 2018 (11:14 am)

      I’ve not followed this closely at all, but DO remember the outrage when Best was bumped from contention. Imagine my surprise to see she not only got back in, but got the job. Flip flop is right! Hey, if she is truly the “best” candidate, great. But this (and the head tax debacle) is not a good start for Durkan. How can we expect that issues like our rampant homelessness get solved under her direction? We’ve not had strong leadership from the Mayor’s office in ages.

      • Admiral Mom July 17, 2018 (11:27 am)

        You call it flip flop. I call it listening to her constituents which is what officials should do.I am optimistic this is a good sign 

        • Um, No! July 17, 2018 (12:28 pm)

          Or she could just do the “listening” on the front end and not have to “flip flop” all the time when she makes a uninformed decision that is clearly not to the liking of her constituents?  Ask questions, get feedback, analyze that feedback and THEN make a decision.   Tends to work much better that way.   

          • Admiral Mom July 17, 2018 (4:21 pm)

            You are full of wisdom! You should run for office

          • Jon Wright July 17, 2018 (5:04 pm)

            UM, NO!, I think the hole in your theory is that it assumes people are informed enough and interested in participating in governance “on the front end.” Do you know ANYBODY who was following the police chief selection process prior to the news about Carmen Best not making the top three? All of a sudden, 90% of the way through the process, people are coming out of the woodwork and weighing in with their opinions. I have a difficult time blaming the city and their outreach efforts…after all, they can’t force people to get involved.

  • WS Guy July 17, 2018 (11:42 am)

    Crime is on the rise in Seattle.  We need a great Police Chief and a solid, well trained, high-morale police force.  Although I am not qualified to compare the candidates, the way this process played out leads me to believe that the decision was made for reasons other than their qualifications.  Too much politics in this. 

  • onion July 17, 2018 (12:01 pm)

    The Mayor apparently decided that not choosing Best would lead to yet another sh*tstorm, so she basically threw the formal selection process out the window.  A safe choice  . . .  for now.

  • Peter July 17, 2018 (3:06 pm)

    This whole process has been EXTREMELY fishy, and that inspires zero confidence in the police or our elected officials.

  • they July 17, 2018 (4:01 pm)

    Nobody dropped out…open your eyes, this was a bright move that met two objectives. Jenny’s no dummy!

  • IMHO July 17, 2018 (5:13 pm)

    Regardless of all the faderal, I am thrilled that Carmen has been appointed. She knows our city!

  • flimflam July 17, 2018 (6:08 pm)

    weird to go from “not in the running ” to “new chief of police”, that can’t really be disputed. nor, imo, can the new mayors habit for going where this breeze takes her.

  • lookingforlogic July 17, 2018 (6:28 pm)

    Specifically, what politics?  How old are you?  And where do you receive facts?  It’s not 1980, when you had 2 newspapers and 5 TV channels.   Hope the new chief doesn’t have political debt to payoff, because it will be revealed and viral.

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