Chief O’Toole Thanks Seattle

As you now know, I’ve made the very difficult decision to step down, effective December 31.

It’s difficult because I love this City. I care deeply about the Seattle Police Department, and more than anything, I love being a police officer.

It’s not just a job to me – it’s my vocation, my passion.  Even on the most challenging days, I’ve loved my job.

My anticipated departure has been no secret.

Several months ago, in my own mind, I determined it was the right time to move on, personally and professionally.  I was then convinced to stay a bit longer to maintain stability during a challenging time for all of us.

When Mayor Durkan was elected, it made the ultimate decision even more difficult – no doubt the most agonizing of my career.

The Mayor has my utmost respect

because I know she cares deeply about our community and understands policing.

As US Attorney, she was one of the architects of the systems that have now placed SPD at the national forefront in police reform and accountability. We are all very fortunate to have an extraordinary Mayor who will work everyday to make this city a better and safer place.  Thank you, Mayor, for your friendship and support, not just recently, but from the day I arrived in Seattle three and a half years ago.

In the end, this decision was more personal than professional for me.

While I have no notion of retirement – it’s not a concept I could ever imagine – I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband, Dan.

I’ve also committed to my daughter, and best friend, Meghan, now a Seattle resident, that I’ll finally make the time to join her in exploring the Pacific Northwest.

I know that our City will be served well as I pass the baton to Deputy Chief Carmen Best and the rest of the SPD Leadership Team. Carmen works harder than anyone I know and has extraordinary relationships with our community.

Together, we have built a leadership team that is second to none on the national level.

To members of the SPD, sworn and civilian: Thank you. Thank you for your service and commitment to our City.

Thank you for embracing reform and working hard to reach our goals. Thank you for your work day in and day out to keep our City safe.

To the many Seattleites I now call friends, thank you for the warm welcome you extended

when I first arrived and for the incredible support you’ve shown to me and my family for the past three and a half years.

I’ll always cherish my friendships here and hope to continue to spend lots of time in this great city.

Chief O’Toole’s Statement on Juvenile Justice Reform

I wholeheartedly support this bold step to transform the way our community handles juvenile offenders. Credible research suggests that we can reduce crime by bringing a rehabilitative, public health approach to juvenile justice. In addition to the change that’s being announced today, I also believe we must continue to expand programs that support all of Seattle’s young people early in life, investments that are essential to preventing youth from becoming offenders in the first place.


Statement from Chief O’Toole on Appointment of Andrew Myerberg to OPA Director

The Seattle Police Department wholly supports the nomination of Andrew Myerberg to the permanent position of OPA Director.  While serving as interim OPA Director, Andrew has demonstrated principled oversight, a deep understanding of SPD policy and reforms, and a steady commitment to fairness and transparency.  We congratulate Andrew on this nomination.

Chief O’Toole’s Statement on Las Vegas Shooting

We join with police departments  around the country in expressing our sorrow over the horrific acts last night in Las Vegas. This shooting is yet another reminder of how suddenly and unexpectedly terror and tragedy can strike.  Early this morning, I sent a message to Sheriff Lombardo indicating that SPD stands ready to assist the LVMPD. As we keep the victims, their families, the people of Las Vegas and their first responders in our thoughts and prayers, please stay vigilant, stay safe, and look out for one another.