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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.