Chief O’Toole: SPD Moving Full Speed Ahead With Reform

The Seattle Police Department is moving full speed ahead in implementation of the Consent Decree and will not be distracted in the process.

During a hearing in federal court last week, the honorable James L. Robart, who is overseeing our department’s progress under the Consent Decree, said it best: “get over it, the train has left the station, it’s not going to turn around.”

The vast majority of SPD officers are entirely committed to modernization and reform.

Carmen Best Promoted to Deputy Chief and Other SPD Command Changes

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Carmen Best to Deputy Chief of the Seattle Police Department. Since I was appointed, Carmen has shown me she cares deeply for this department and the community. She is a respected leader within the organization and has demonstrated, as the current Assistant Chief of Criminal Investigations, that she has the energy, integrity, work ethic, commitment, and skills to move the Seattle Police Department forward.

Carmen has worked for the Seattle Police Department since 1992. Her assignments have included Uniformed Patrol, School Safety, Department Spokesperson, Patrol Supervisor, Media Relations Supervisor, Watch Commander, Operations Lieutenant, Narcotics Proactive Commander, Robbery/Gangs/Fugitive Commander, Community Outreach Commander, and South Precinct Commander.

Carmen has a B.A. from Western Illinois University and has a certificate in Police Management from the University of Washington and certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia. She completed the Senior Management Institute for Police in 2006, the FBI National Academy in 2010 and the Criminal Justice Executive Leadership Academy in 2013. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Latino Police Officers Association, and Tabor 100. She is an avid supporter of the A+ program for youth and she is on the Executive Board of Lakeside School.  She is married and has two daughters in college.

In addition, I am making the following changes:

·         Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh is moving to the Special Operations Bureau which is now combined with the Homeland Security Bureau.

·         Assistant Chief Robin Clark is moving to the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

·         Captain Mike Nolan is moving to Traffic.

·         Captain Joe Kessler will be working on special projects for the Chief Operating Officer.

All of the functions of the Field Support Bureau remain under Chief Operating Officer except for Criminal Intelligence which will be moved to the Office of the Chief, and CBRNE which will move to Special Operations Bureau.  Also the Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau will report to the Chief Operating Officer.

All of these changes are effective immediately.

Kathleen O’Toole

Chief of Police

Deputy Chief Bailey Announces Retirement

Deputy Chief Harry Bailey recently notified me of his intention to retire (again!) from the Seattle Police Department on  August 15, 2014.  I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Chief Bailey.  From the moment Mayor Murray announced my selection as Chief of Police, Chief Bailey has been extremely helpful and supportive.  His continuing assistance has allowed for a smooth transition.  I genuinely appreciate Chief Bailey’s support and friendship, and I look forward to continuing the strong community relationships that he nurtured throughout his career with the Seattle Police Department.

Harry, I wish you the very best in your second retirement from the Department.  Enjoy every minute. You have certainly earned it!

Officer Suspended Without Pay Following Child Molestation Charges

I have just been informed that the Snohomish County Prosecutor has filed charges against a Seattle police officer for multiple counts of Child Molestation and Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes.

As Chief, and as a parent, I am deeply troubled by these allegations. I have immediately ordered suspension of the officer, without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

Officer Relieved Of Duty Following Use of Force Incident

A Seattle Police officer has been relieved of duty following a use of force incident involving a handcuffed prisoner.

The incident occurred on Sunday, June 22, when the officer assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau arrested an adult female involved in a domestic violence incident in the South Precinct. During the course of the incident, both the officer and the female were injured.

Because of the injuries sustained during the incident, the department activated the SPD Force Investigation Team (FIT). Representatives from the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) also responded to investigate.

OPA and FIT investigators reviewed digital in-car video and, based on that review, determined that additional investigation is warranted.

In keeping with department policy, the involved officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation proceeds. I have also ensured the department has fully briefed U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and the FBI on the incident and have requested the Washington State Patrol provide investigators to assist SPD.