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Police Chief Search

The City is embarking on its search for Seattle’s next Chief of Police. This process will be comprehensive and transparent and will involve looking both inside and outside SPD to find the right candidate.

“Facing increasing crime, gun violence, and public safety issues, our next permanent chief must be able to respond to these challenges with urgency and innovation. This comprehensive search will determine the leader best equipped to fill this challenging role and move our department forward.” - Mayor Bruce Harrell

The next Chief of Police will be an individual who shares Mayor Harrell’s vision for One Seattle where every person has the absolute right to safety and where SPD is inspired and trusted. Mayor Harrell is looking for a leader who will build and rebuild trust with the community, help drive internal culture change, and be integrally involved in the development of a new third public safety department. 

Give Your Input on Our Police Chief Search

 Seattle Police Department officer walking

What Happens Next

The Chief search process is set by charter. Mayor Harrell appoints a search committee, which has the responsibility to assess candidates and to recommend up to five individuals to proceed to a competitive examination. The search committee will also help formulate the questions for the written portion of the examination. 

“With values-driven leadership, big picture thinking, and a commitment to safety, respect, reform, and justice, our next chief can help us set a new standard for public safety, reach our recruitment and retention goals, build officer morale, and make this a welcoming and safe city for every community.” - Mayor Harrell

The examination will be administered by a panel of subject matter experts and will also include an oral assessment. The top three candidates as rated by the assessors after the competitive examination will be forwarded to Mayor Harrell for consideration. The mayor is then required to select from one of those three candidates or to restart the search. 

Once selected, the nominee will be required to undergo City Council confirmation. 

Candidates will also be identified through the Public Sector Search & Consulting search firm, which will conduct a national search. Applications should be submitted to Gary Peterson, Gary@PublicSectorSearch.com by Tuesday, July 5, 4:00PM PST for first consideration.

Search Committee

  • Council President Debora Juarez, Seattle City Council
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Council
  • Lieutenant Scott Bachler, Seattle Police Management Association
  • Prachi Dave, Policy and Advocacy Director, Public Defender Association; Commissioner, Community Police Commission
  • Gabe Galanda, Managing Lawyer, Galanda Broadman, PLLC
  • Erin Goodman, Executive Director, SODO Business Improvement Area
  • Esther Lucero, Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Indian Health Board
  • Jim Pugel, former SPD Chief of Police
  • Robert Saka, Attorney, Microsoft Corporation
  • Rachel Smith, President & CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Mary Ellen Stone, Chief Executive Officer, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
  • Reverend Harriett Walden, Founder, Mothers for Police Accountability; Co-Chair, Community Police Commission
  • Natalie Walton-Anderson, Criminal Division Chief, Seattle City Attorney’s Office
  • Bishop Reggie Witherspoon, Mount Calvary Christian Center 

Upcoming Updates 

  • Introduction to the assessors 
  • Survey results 
  • Schedule of community meetings 
  • Announcements on finalists and nominee