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Carmen Best sworn in as new Chief of Police


Today I was confirmed unanimously by the City Council as the Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department.  Next Tuesday, August 21st, there will be community swearing-in ceremonies at the following locations:

  • Seattle City Hall | Bertha Knight Landes Room | 600 4th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 | 11:30 AM -12:15 PM
  • South Park Community Center | 8319 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108 | 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM
  • Northwest African American Museum | 2300 S. Massachusetts St., Seattle, WA 98144 | 4:00 – 6:00 PM

As I’ve said before, there is no greater honor for me than to be your Chief, in a City and Department that I love.

First, I’d like to thank my family for their unwavering support throughout my career. I’d also like to thank Mayor Jenny Durkan for nominating me as Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department, as well as the City Council for their confirmation. I’d also like to thank the community for their partnership and support. I’d especially like to thank the men and women, sworn and civilian of the Seattle Police Department who serve this City every day with Service, Pride and Dedication.

As the new police Chief, I’ll continue to lead our department through a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Just nine months ago, the Seattle Police Department was found to be in full and effective compliance with the consent decree by the federal court. Make no mistake this was in large part due to the efforts of the men and women of SPD who work every day, under intense scrutiny, to serve and protect this City. Our officers are on the front lines of poverty, of mental health crisis, of homelessness, and all the tragedy and unpredictability inherent in the profession of policing, while simultaneously, working to build relationships with the communities they serve.   As we enter the next phase of the consent decree, we all look forward to continued progress and evolution at the Seattle Police Department. I know great things are ahead.

Often times when I’m meeting with the community, I’ve come to find out we have more in common than we often realize. We agree that we want safe neighborhoods, we all want to be treated fairly, and we can all work together, moving the Department forward for a safer Seattle, with equitable police services for everyone.

Here are my priorities for the Seattle Police Department. Let me be clear, our primary concern as a law enforcement agency will always be: Reducing Crime and Disorder. I am working closely with my commanders to ensure we have officers where they’re most needed.

We must strive for Excellence in Service, to better foster trust, support and understanding in the communities we serve.

Every member of our department should serve with Honor and Professionalism and take pride in their chosen career as a member of SPD.

We will seek new ways to increase Business Efficiency throughout our organization. We will continuously look for ways to better utilize the resources we have, effectively manage the funds entrusted to us by our city and streamline practices throughout our organization.

Finally, we will continue to lean heavily on Data Driven Policies and Practices to improve deployments, and monitor and respond to emerging crime trends.

Thank you, and I look forward to working with you.