SEATTLE, Wash. - Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Thursday that a nationwide search for the next permanent Seattle Police Chief will officially start in April.
According to Thursday's press release, the Mayor's Office will hire an independent third-party firm to perform a nationwide search for strong candidates. The Mayor's Office will also announce the members of the committee tasked with selecting these candidates. This committee will be made up of local leaders including law enforcement experts, members of the Community Police Commission, representatives from small businesses, communities of color, and other key voices.
Mayor Harrell released the following statement regarding the criteria these potential candidates must meet in order to be considered for the position:
"Facing increasing crime, gun violence, and public safety issues, our next permanent chief must be able to respond to these challenges with urgency and innovation. This comprehensive search will determine the leader best equipped to fill this challenging role and move our department forward. As we work to make immediate and long-term safety improvements at 12th and Jackson, 3rd Avenue, and neighborhoods citywide, I have been pleased with Interim Chief Diaz’s approach and commitment to progress on public safety. Although I expect to conduct a robust search process, I encourage Interim Chief Diaz to apply."
According to Mayor Harrell, community engagement is the priority when it comes to selecting the next Seattle Police Chief. In the next couple of weeks, the Mayor's Office will launch a website that includes an online community survey to collect feedback from the people of Seattle. Through the survey, anyone can list what they are looking for in their next chief, and information from the survey will be widely available to the public. The goal of this is to ensure that everyone's voices are heard.
"Too often, our neighbors and businesses are feeling the impacts of crime and public safety issues while at the same time our police officers face long hours, tough working conditions and serious morale challenges," said Mayor Harrell. "They deserve permanency and support – a chief who shares my vision for One Seattle where every person has the absolute right to safety and where our police department is inspired and trusted.
The City’s charter sets specific requirements around the hiring of a permanent police chief. To comply with core charter responsibilities, a competitive examination must be held to identify the three finalists from which the mayor will select the next chief. This position also requires City Council confirmation.
This is a developing story.
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