Mayor’s search committee announces finalists for police chief

Pramila Jayapal and Ron Sims, the co-chairs of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s police chief Search Committee, announced today the three finalists the committee will forward to the mayor for his consideration.

The three finalists are:

  • Robert Lehner, Chief of Police, City of Elk Grove, California
  • Frank Milstead, Chief of Police, City of Mesa, Arizona
  • Kathleen O’Toole, former Police Commissioner, City of Boston

“We were fortunate to have four, highly qualified candidates to consider,” said Jayapal. “We have since conducted a thorough vetting and competitive exam process that included a written response to a number of questions as well as extensive site visits. All candidates and their communities opened themselves up to us over the course of dozens of interviews. Through this process, we gained a comprehensive picture of each candidate’s strengths and potential challenges. It was clear that each candidate is highly respected in his or her own community and has demonstrated significant success in highly impressive careers. As a committee, we have been asked to limit to three the number of candidates we are recommending to the Mayor and are excited to put forth are excited to the three individuals whom we believe possess the very strongest qualifications.”

“While the three finalists each bring different sets of skills, there is no question that all are extremely well-qualified to be Seattle’s next chief of police,” said Sims. “We know that the next chief needs to bring a proven record of reform,  effective management experience, strong communications skills, an unwavering commitment to community engagement and the ability to articulate vision and expectations to which the force will be held accountable. These candidates all reflect these characteristics and are highly regarded as people of integrity. Whomever the Mayor ultimately selects as his nominee, Seattle will have a truly exceptional individual in our next police chief.”

Murray will interview the three finalists over the next several weeks, with the goal of announcing his selection and nominee to City Council in mid-May.

The members of Murray’s police chief Search Committee are:

  • Pramila Jayapal, Co-Chair, Distinguished Taconic Fellow, Center for Community Change
  • Ron Sims, Co-Chair, Former Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council Member and Chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee
  • Tim Burgess, President, Seattle City Council
  • Sue Rahr, Former King County Sheriff; Executive Director, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
  • John Lovick, Snohomish County Executive
  • Eric Sano, President, Seattle Police Management Association
  • Ron Smith, Incoming President, Seattle Police Officers Guild
  • Verlene Jones, A Philip Randolph Institute
  • Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director, ACLU of Washington
  • Michael Ramos, Director of Social Justice Ministries, Church Council of Great Seattle
  • Michele Storms, Assistant Dean for Public Service & Executive Director, W.H. Gates Service Law Program

More information about the search process can be found here.