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This is the environment in which our police chief search is taking place. The larger Community Advisory Committee has already finished its work, facilitating seven community forums across the city to gather input, and providing criteria for the next police chief based on that input. That effort will feed into the work of the smaller search committee process, which has just begun and will result in the recommendation of three top candidates.
This time around, we have all the building blocks in place for real reform. There are new policies in place around use of force, “terry” stops and biased policing that will change what happens on the streets. A majority of beleaguered officers are ready to follow a real leader who wants to bring back respect and support to the work that they do every day. Seattle residents are engaged and want the best for their communities. Our Mayor has made police reform a centerpiece of his Administration — and will have to deliver if he is to be elected to another term. And, perhaps most importantly, the Department of Justice will not leave Seattle until it is satisfied that we have indeed reformed ourselves.
Now, all we need is the right Police Chief — a man or woman of tremendous integrity and courageous, visionary leadership who is willing to institute real culture change from top to bottom. We need someone who is as comfortable in front of the community or the media as they are with their officers; someone with a laser-like focus on what is good for Seattle. There are candidates across the country who will see this opportunity as the leadership and legacy opportunity of a life-time. We welcome their applications.
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