Mayor Murray today announced Kathleen O’Toole as his nominee for chief of the Seattle Police Department.
“I made a commitment to find the best possible chief of police for Seattle, and that’s exactly what I have found in Kathleen O’Toole,” said Murray. “The Seattle police department deserves the best leadership possible to drive ongoing reform efforts – not for the sake of reform, and not even for the sake of compliance with the federal court, but because all individuals in this city deserve to feel safe and protected in their communities. We can be a national model for urban policing, and Kathleen O’Toole is the right choice to lead us there.”
“I am humbled and excited to have this extraordinary opportunity,” said O’Toole, who, if confirmed, would be Seattle’s first female chief of police. “I look forward to working with Mayor Murray, members of the Seattle Police Department and the community to restore trust and develop a police service second to none.”
O’Toole is a career police officer who has risen through the ranks of local and state policing. During her police career, she was assigned to numerous patrol, investigative, undercover, and supervisory and management positions, including service as Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety (1994) and Boston Police Commissioner (2004). She was the first woman appointed to both positions.
O’Toole is also a lawyer who has earned an international reputation for her principled leadership and reform strategies. In 2012, O’Toole completed a six-year term as Chief Inspector of the Garda Siochana Inspectorate, an oversight body responsible for bringing reform and accountability to the 17,000 member Irish national police service.
“I want to thank interim Chief Harry Bailey, who came out of a well-earned retirement to serve as my interim chief because of his dedication to the profession, to public safety, and to the people of Seattle,” said Murray. “For this, he has my profound gratitude, the gratitude of this police department and of this city.
Bailey will continue in his role while O’Toole undergoes the Council confirmation process over the coming weeks. O’Toole’s targeted start date is June 23.