Seattle Police Chief To Step Down At The End Of 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Seattle will soon be getting a new police chief.

SPD's current chief - Kathleen O'Toole - is stepping down at the end of this year. She'll be handing the police department's top job to deputy chief Carmen Best until a nationwide search can be completed.

O'Toole says her decision to leave was a difficult one.

"Difficult because I love this city, difficult because I care deeply about the Seattle Police Department and, more than anything, I love being a cop,” O’Toole said. “I've loved every minute of it.”

O'Toole says this was a personal choice, not a professional one, and her husband's ailing health played a role.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says choosing a new police chief is one of the most important decisions she'll make. She says it's crucial that the next leader of the police department is committed to continuing reforms.

SPD was placed under a consent decree in 2012 due to issues with biased policing and excessive force. Durkan says the search will begin in the new year and she hopes to wrap it up by spring.

Copyright 2017 KUOW.