Public input sought on Police Chief search

SEATTLE – 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, www.seattle.gov/mayor/spdChiefSearch/.

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.