CHIEF of POLICE & Command Staff
Chief Kathleen O'Toole was sworn in as Chief of the Seattle Police Department on June 23rd, 2014.
Chief O'Toole is a career police officer and lawyer who has earned an international reputation for her principled leadership and reform strategies.
In 2012, Ms. O’Toole completed a six-year term as Chief Inspector of the Gardia Síochána Inspectorate, an oversight body responsible for bringing reform, best practice and accountability to the 17,000 member Irish national police service.read more
Prior to serving in Ireland, Ms. O’Toole rose through the ranks of local and state policing in the United States. During her police career, she was assigned to numerous patrol, investigative, undercover, supervisory and management positions. She served as Superintendent (Chief) of the Metropolitan District Commission Police and Lieutenant Colonel overseeing Special Operations in the Massachusetts State Police. She was later appointed Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety (1994) and Boston Police Commissioner (2004).
Barb Graff is the Director of Seattle Office of Emergency Management
Director Barb Graff's responsibilities include managing the multi-hazard interdepartmental emergency management program for the City of Seattle and coordinating its relation to other emergency response agencies and community groups. The program encompasses all phases of integrated emergency management including preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.
Ms. Graff has been the Seattle Director since June of 2005.read more
Boards and Committees
Ms. Graff currently chairs the national Emergency Management Program Review Committee and serves on the Emergency Management Accreditation Commission. Ms Graff serves on the King County Advisory Committee on Emergency Management and Regional Homeland Security Council. She is a member of the Washington State Emergency Management Association and the International Association of Emergency Management. She co-chairs the Board of Directors for the Washington Information Network 2-1-1 (WIN 2-1-1) information referral system.
Ms. Graff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Washington.
Assistant Chief Mike Washburn is the Chief of Staff.
Assistant Chief Mike Washburn began his career with the Seattle Police Department in December 1986. As a police officer, Washburn worked in the South Precinct in Patrol, as a Field Training Officer, and later in the Anti-Crime Team. In 1993, he was promoted to Sergeant and served as a patrol supervisor, a Community Police Team supervisor, and finally as a Detective Sergeant in the Juvenile Unit.read more
As a Lieutenant, he served as a watch commander at the East Precinct. He then took over the South Precinct's Weed and Seed program and eventually coordinated all three of Seattle's Federally-Designated Weed and Seed Sites while simultaneously being assigned to the newly opened Southwest Precinct as the Operations Commander. In 2003, he served a 6-month fellowship with the Department of Justice at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as the Safe Streets Executive Fellow.
As a Captain, he served as the North Precinct Commander for almost five years. He was then assigned to the Investigations Bureau and commanded the Violent Crimes Section which includes Robbery, Homicide, CSI, and the Gang Unit. He then commanded the Audit, Policy and Research Section. His final Captain Assignment was to serve as SPD’s Human Resources Director.
Assistant Chief Washburn holds a Masters Degree in the Administration of Justice from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from Central Washington University in both Law and Justice and Sociology. He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.
Assistant Chief Tag Gleason commands the Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau.
Tag entered service with the Seattle Police Department in 1978. He was appointed to Assistant Chief in 2014. As a captain, to which he was promoted in 1996, he supervised the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC)/Missing Persons Unit, the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) Investigations Section, the Violent Crimes Section, the Training Section, the Special Deployment Section, and the West Precinct. As a lieutenant, to which he was promoted in 1992, he supervised the Personnel Division and Community Services Section, and served as a Watch and Operations Lieutenant in the West Precinct. As a sergeant, to which he was promoted in 1989, he served as an investigator in the Internal Investigations Section and as a patrol sergeant in the South and West Precincts. As an officer, Tag worked as a patrol officer in the West Precinct, an instructor at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center, and as a detective in the Special Assault/Sex Crimes Unit. Tag also is an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University and served in the military as a Russian linguist with the US Army, Army Security Agency.read more
Tag is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys (WSAMA), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), and the Seattle University Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.
- JD, Law, Seattle University School of Law
- MPA, Public Administration, University of Puget Sound
- BA, Accounting, University of Puget Sound
- BA, Criminal Justice, Seattle University
- Russian language program, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA
- Police Legal Advisors training program, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA
- Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), Boston University, sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum
- Executive level certification, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
Assistant Chief Joe Kessler commands the Homeland Security Bureau.
Assistant Chief Kessler began his career with the Seattle Police Department in 1981. He worked in all patrol precincts as an officer, in Inspections and Planning and as an instructor in the Advanced Training Unit. Following his promotion to sergeant in February of 1989 he was assigned as the supervisor of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Academy and subsequently served as a patrol sergeant in the East Precinct in addition to serving as the ACT Team supervisor and the Community Police Team supervisor in the West Precinct. After his promotion to lieutenant in 1992 he served in the East Precinct as a Watch Commander and as the Operations Lieutenant and as a Commander in the Vice and Narcotics Sections.read more
Assistant Chief Kessler was promoted to captain in 2000 and has been assigned as the commander of the Deployment Unit, Traffic Section and the Metropolitan Section. He subsequently served as the commander of the Southwest Precinct from 2008 to 2010 and the West Precinct from 2010 to 2012. He returned to Southwest Precinct in January of 2013 and in 2014 was promoted to Assistant Chief.
Assistant Chief Kessler was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Society and Justice. He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Policing at Boston University and the West Point Leadership Program.
Assistant Chief Carmen Best is the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Carmen Best has worked for the Seattle Police Department since 1992. Her assignments include Uniformed Patrol, School Safety, Department Spokeswomen, Patrol Supervisor, Media Relations Supervisor, Watch Commander, Operations Lieutenant, Narcotics Proactive Commander, Robbery/Gangs/Fugitive Commander, Community Outreach Commander, and South Precinct Commander. Currently, she is the Assistant Chief of the Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Carmen attended 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.read more
Her most recent accolades include being an honoree at the Women of Color Empowered “Women of Power in Law Enforcement and the Military” Ceremony in May 2011 and in November 2011 she was an honoree of the Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Police Appreciation.
Assistant Chief Best was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has five generations of family living in the Seattle/Tacoma area. She is married and has two daughters who are both attending college.
Assistant Chief Nick Metz commands the Patrol Operations Bureau.
Assistant Chief Nicholas Metz has been with the Seattle Police Department for 30 years. He spent four years as a patrol officer in the downtown corridor and Rainier Valley before becoming an undercover detective in Narcotics.
He was promoted to Sergeant in 1989 before being assigned to work in Internal Investigations, the East Precinct Anti-Crime and Community Police Teams and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center (WSCJTC).read more
After being promoted to Lieutenant in 1991 he worked again at WSCJTC, then as Watch Commander at the South Precinct. He was then selected to be the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police. Upon his promotion to Captain in 1995, he was assigned as the Director of Human Resources, Commander of both South and East Precincts and the Internal Investigations Section. Nick was promoted to Assistant Chief in October 2001. As an Assistant Chief he previously commanded both the Operations Bureau, the Employee & Community Support Bureau, and the Investigations Bureau. From 2009-2013 he was the commander of Operations, which oversaw the Patrol Operations, Investigations, Special Operations Bureaus, as well as Community Outreach and the Employee Peer Support Program.
Boards and Committees
Chief Metz is on the Board of Directors for the Behind the Badge Foundation, is an advisor to the Code 4 Northwest program and on the board of YWCA of Seattle-King County. He is also the coach for Magnolia girls Soccer, Fast Pitch and Basketball.
Chief Metz graduated from City University with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Administration. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. He is also an alumnist of Leadership Tomorrow's Class of 2000, sponsored by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and a 2013 graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.
Valarie Anderson is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and oversees the Fiscal, Property and Fleets, Research Grants & Corporate Support, Data Center, and Records & Public Requests Sections.
Valarie Anderson began her career with the Seattle Police Department in September 1990 as the Fiscal Manager where she managed accounts payable, accounts receivable, grants accounting, forfeiture accounting, cash accounting, and departmental purchasing. In May 2001, she was promoted to Director of Fiscal Property & Fleet where she continued her leadership and management role in all aspects of accounting and purchasing and worked closely with the departmental budget.read more
In addition, she was responsible for the effective and efficient management of all departmental vehicles and motor pool operations; as well as for the provision of logistical support, equipment, and supplies for all departmental employees during routine and special events. Valarie was promoted to CAO effective April 2008.
Valarie graduated from Northeast Louisiana University with a BA in Accounting in 1979 and from City University in 1998 with a Masters of Public Administration. She has been a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Washington since 1985 and is a current member of the Washington State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Valarie is an alumnus of City of Seattle’s Advanced Management Program and a 2010 graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.
Assistant Chief Robin Clark commands the Special Operations Bureau.
Assistant Chief Robin Clark began her police career with the Seattle Police Department in 1980. Clark worked the East Precinct in Patrol, and worked as a Field Training Officer. As a Detective, she worked in the West Precinct Burglary Theft Unit, Sex Crimes Unit and the personnel backgrounding unit. She also worked in the Homicide Unit where she was assigned to the Multi-Agency Green River Task Force investigating the serial killings of the Green River Killer.
Promoted to Sergeant in 1990, Clark was as patrol sergeant in the South and East Precinct, East Precinct Community Police Team and Internal Investigations. She instituted the bicycle patrol program at the Seattle Center while serving as a sergeant there.read more
As Lieutenant, she worked as Watch Commander at the South and North precincts, Operations Lieutenant at the North Precinct, administrative aide to Assistant Chief of Patrol, led the Field Training Program, oversaw the Seattle Police Operations Center, ans served as SWAT commander and Motorcycle commander.
As Captain, she was assigned as the commander of the North Precinct. As Assistant Chief of the Special Operations Bureau, she oversees SWAT, Harbor, Canine, Arson/Bombs, Homeland Security, Seattle Police Operations Center, Traffic Section and Parking Enforcement.
Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh commands the Field Support Bureau.
Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh began his police career with the Seattle Police Department in May of 1983. As a police officer, McDonagh worked the East and South Precincts in Patrol, as a Field Training Officer and the South Precinct Anti-Crime Team(ACT). He spent time in the Special Patrol Unit/Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) where he remained when he was promoted to Sergeant. He also served as a Patrol Sergeant in the North Precinct.read more
As Lieutenant he was assigned as the Evidence and Identification Section Commander overseeing the Photo Lab, Fingerprint Technicians, Latent Print Examiners, Evidence Unit and managed the Seattle Police segment of the regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System(AFIS). He was then assigned to the newly formed Emergency Preparedness Bureau, Homeland Security Section. He was promoted to East Precinct Commander in April of 2007 and served there until October 2009.
Pierce Murphy is the Director of the Office of Professional Accountability
Previously, Pierce spent over 14 years as the Community Ombudsman for the City of Boise in Idaho. As Boise’s first ombudsman, Pierce created Idaho’s first and only civilian oversight of law enforcement agency. In 1972 he began working in law enforcement in both civilian and sworn positions. After receiving his baccalaureate and master degrees, Pierce started a successful career in human resource management and consulting. Pierce has been active professionally in the field of civilian oversight of law enforcement and has advised cities and counties across the United States on this topic.
Mr. Murphy has been the OPA Director in Seattle since July 1, 2013.read more
He is a past president and former member of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and frequent speaker at their annual training conference. Pierce has always been an active volunteer in his community and a proud member of Rotary since 1988.
- Santa Clara University – Bachelor of Science in Commerce - 1978
- Gonzaga University – Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology - 1984
- Loyola University of New Orleans – Master of Pastoral Studies - 2000