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Seattle Police Department Kathleen O'Toole, Chief of Police
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CHIEF OF POLICE - Kathleen O'Toole

Chief Kathleen O'Toole

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.

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DEPUTY CHIEF - Carmen Best

Assistant Chief Carmen Best

Deputy Chief Carmen Best oversees the Patrol Operations, Criminal Investigations, Special Operations Bureau, and the Community Outreach section.

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, South Precinct Commander, and Assistant Chief of the Criminal Investigations Bureau and Deputy Chief of Police.

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COO Brian Maxey

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) oversees Administrative Services, the Compliance and Professional Standards Section, Field Support Bureau, as well as the Budget, Human Resources, Information Technology, Strategic Policy and Planning and Public Affairs sections.

Brian G. Maxey serves the Chief Operating Officer of the Seattle Police Department. He most recently served as Senior Police Counsel, managing the legal affairs of the department with an emphasis on compliance.He also served as a Supervising Assistant City Attorney at the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, where he was lead attorney for the Police Action Team, specializing in 42 U.S.C. 1983 litigation and general advice to the Seattle Police Department; as Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Unit of the New York City Law Department, representing the New York City Police Department; and as Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Justice Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, representing WA Department of Corrections and the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

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PATROL OPERATIONS BUREAU - Assistant Chief Steve Wilske

Assistant Chief Steve Wilske

Assistant Chief Steve Wilske commands the Patrol Operations Bureau.

Steve Wilske has served for over 28 years with the Seattle Police Department. He started his career as a Patrol Officer in the West Precinct, followed by assignments in the Mountain Bike Squad and Mounted Unit. He has commanded the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) and HNT (Hostage Negotiations Team), Robbery , Gangs, Homicide and Crime Scene Investigations unit. In 2013, he oversaw the creation of the new Force Investigations Team (FIT), and chaired the department’s Force Review Board.

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Assistant Chief Robert Merner

Assistant Chief Robert Merner commands the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

Robert M. Merner joined the Seattle Police Department after 28 years in the Boston Police Department. Merner has 22 years of investigative experience, holding every rank in the BPD’s Investigative Bureau. As a commander of the BPD Criminal Investigation Division, Merner oversaw the Homicide, Fugitive, Crime Scene Response and Forensic units, as well as the Firearms Discharge Investigation Team, which reviews all officer-involved shootings.

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SPECIAL OPERATIONS BUREAU - Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant commands the Special Operations Bureau.

Perry Tarrant has 34 years of law enforcement experience with the Tucson Police Department. He started his career working patrol, and also held assignments in canine, SWAT, bomb squad, aviation, and internal affairs. In 2014, Tarrant was appointed to coordinate the City of Yakima’s Gang Free Initiative’s prevention and intervention programs and to act as the city’s Emergency Preparedness Director.

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Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner

Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner commands the Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau.

Lesley Cordner joined the Seattle Police Department in 1989.  She has worked a variety of assignments in Patrol, Community Policing, the Domestic Violence Unit, the Office of Professional Accountability, Traffic Collision Investigations Squad, North Precinct Operations, and most recently as an Aide to Chief O’Toole.

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HUMAN RESOURCES - Director Mike Fields

Mike Fields

Director Mike Fields leads the Department's Human Resources Section. After practicing as a litigator in the private practice of law, Fields joined the Seattle Police Department in 2002 as the Employment Risk Manager, where he provided legal advice on a wide range of employment matters.  In 2004 he became the Department's labor negotiator, serving as chief spokesperson in all negotiations involving the Department's labor organizations.  In 2014 Fields was promoted to Human Resources Director where he oversees all aspects of the human resources function, including recruiting/hiring, backgrounding, labor and employee relations, performance management, EEO investigations, classification and compensation, benefits and payroll.  Fields received his law degree from The University of San Diego.

SENIOR POLICE COUNSEL - Attorney Rebecca Boatright

Rebecca Boatright

Senior Police Counsel Rebecca Boatright serves as legal advisor to the Chief and manages the legal affairs of the department, with an emphasis on compliance. Prior to joining the department, Becca served 14 years as an Assistant City Attorney in the Civil Division of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, most recently as a supervisor in the Torts Section and the City’s lead attorney on implementation of the Federal Consent Decree. Becca holds both a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington and a BA from the College of Wooster.


Mark Baird

As CFO, Mark Baird oversees Budget, Administrative Services (including Fiscal), Facilities, Jail Coordination, and manages significant departmental projects. He came to the department after servings as a City Council Central Staff policy analyst for public safety. He started in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. He transitioned into crime analysis and served as a crime analyst and later the analytical supervisor and ComStat coordinator for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and had a similar role in the Portland Police Bureau. During a stint in graduate school he was a research fellow for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Mark returned to the Northwest and was the programs/operations analyst for the Snohomish County Department of Corrections and later was appointed as the Chief of Administration – where he oversaw finance, records, HR, and public disclosure. When the department was absorbed into the Sheriff’s Office Mark was appointed Corrections Bureau Chief for the Office. He was also an adjunct instructor at Clackamas Community College in Oregon and at Portland State University, where he taught and crime and intelligence analysis, crime mapping using GIS, statistics, and research methods.

Mark has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Central Washington University, a Masters degree in Public Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University, and a Doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Director Peirce Murphy

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.

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Director Valarie Anderson

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.

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Director Barb Graff

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.

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Christopher Fisher

Christopher Fisher is the Chief Strategic Advisor to the Chief of Police. Most recently he was Senior Policy Advisor at the Council of State Governments Justice Center with a focus on law enforcement issues. Prior to the Justice Center, Chris worked throughout the New York City justice system. As Director of Analysis and Integrated Solutions in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice he coordinated interagency efforts to solve criminal justice challenges. Chris has served in similar capacities for other New York City criminal justice agencies, including the New York City Police Department, the Department of Probation, the Administration for Children’s Services, and the former Department of Juvenile Justice.

Chris holds a doctorate in criminal justice from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a master's degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Virginia.

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