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Police Chief Search Coming to a Close

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Police Chief Search Coming to a Close

It is being reported that the search for a new police chief for Seattle has entered it’s last phases. The community provided input during the months long process. The search was said to be rigorous, national, and with extensive community engagement. The mayor will make a choice within the month of September. The mayor said the process is based on the qualities and qualifications prioritized by the community.

It is going down on September 8 where the top three candidates will be forwarded to the mayor for his consideration. The three finalists will engage in a series of stakeholder sessions, which will culminate in a candidate question and answer session on the evening of September 15. 

How did we get here? First, the City of Seattle held seven police chief community conversations. There was also the use of a public survey which collected resident input. Empower Initiative facilitated the first five community conversations in July and two supplemental sessions were held with community partners in August for additional feedback. 

Those involved said this was not quick. Community members delivered additional public input through the City’s Chief of Police Search survey for over three months. The final session will be televised on the Seattle Channel. Candidates will be asked a series of questions submitted by community members. 

At this summer’s July community meetings, an estimated 47% of participants were Black, 33% were youth or young adults, and the Central District was the most represented neighborhood. The August 10 conversation had over 100 people in attendance. The August 11 conversation was in partnership Duwamish Youth Corp and had about 50 young people there. 

Over 1,300 neighbors responded to a public survey. Those targeted were people who live, work, spend time in, or own a business in Seattle. They were asked to share what was most important to them in the police chief search. Respondents prioritized community knowledge and policing, and 70% said ethics and integrity were the most important leadership quality. 

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