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Carmen Best sworn in as Seattle police chief

Police Chief Carmen Best is sworn into office on August 21st at the Northwest African American Museum. Chief Best is Seattle's first female African-American police chief. (Chloe Collyer for Crosscut)

Carmen Best finished a day of ceremonies at the Northwest African American Museum late Tuesday afternoon with one final swearing-in. Following the example set by her boss, the mayor, the new permanent Seattle police chief turned the event into a tour of the community.

Best had already been sworn in at two other events earlier in the day at City Hall and then at the South Park Community Center when she arrived at the Central District museum for one final ceremony and reception.

After months of drama, Best is now officially the first person of color to permanently lead the Seattle Police Department. It should be a smooth transition for the 26-year veteran: Best became the number two ranking official in the department in 2014 and took over as its interim chief in January 2018.

Best inherits the department at a critical time. SPD needs to prove to a federal judge that it has made permanent and lasting reforms, while also addressing concerns about disparate policing, high-property crime and out-of-control overtime spending.

David Kroman

Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum Lanesha Debardelaben introduces the new police chief.
Executive Director of the Northwest African American Museum Lanesha Debardelaben introduces the new police chief.
Carmen Best awaits her final swearing-in of the day.
The new chief prepares for the final swearing-in of the day.
Newly sworn-in, Chief Best addresses the crowd at the Northwest African American Museum.
Newly sworn-in, Chief Best addresses the crowd at the Northwest African American Museum.
Family of Police Chief Best watch as she recieves her honors.
Police Chief Best's family watches as she is sworn in.
Pastor Kenneth J. Ransfer speaks to a young office-in-training at the swearing in cereomony for Chief Carmen Best.
Pastor Kenneth J. Ransfer speaks to a member of the Seattle Police Explorers during the reception.

 

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best poses with friends and family after the ceremony.

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Carmen Best sworn in as Seattle police chief