Kathleen O’Toole has been a true partner in progress on police reform and a leader in advancing innovative approaches to public safety in Seattle, and by her example, around the country. I am grateful for her professionalism, wisdom, and friendship.
Under her leadership, the Seattle Police Department transformed how it served the City of Seattle by implementing new policies, training and accountability around uses of force, crisis intervention, and biased policing. Chief O’Toole guided the department during this transformational period, set clear expectations and high standards for every officer, and built strong relationships with the many communities and neighborhoods that the Department serves. She also demonstrated clearly that civil rights reform goes hand-in-hand with increased public and officer safety.
The hallmark of reform is that it must be bigger than any one person or leader. As we made clear in our most recent filing with the Court, under Chief O’Toole’s leadership, we believe that SPD has come into compliance with the first phase of the consent decree and has the systems and structures in place to continue its reform efforts. I look forward to working with Interim Chief Carmen Best to continue pushing reform forward and keeping the people of Seattle safe.