With community groups calling for a “restart” on the process, Carmen Best is back in the running to lead the Seattle Police Department.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the decision Saturday to add Best to the final interview list as, Durkan said, one of the three original finalists had removed himself from the process.
BECOME A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' CHS SUBSCRIBER TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.
Community groups and members of Durkan’s Community Police Commission had spoken out on Best’s omission and called on the mayor to restart the selection process to include Best, the current interim chief, the first Black woman to lead the department. and a career law enforcement officer who has risen through the ranks at SPD with wide support in communities like the Central District.
In a lengthy announcement of the change in the selection process, Durkan said former Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay formally withdrew from consideration for the Seattle post after discussing “police reform” with the mayor. Durkan said McLay agreed that “assisting on reform efforts was the best way he could help Seattle.”
On social media, Durkan said she was “happy” to have the opportunity to consider Best for the permanent position.
I am thrilled to be a finalist for the permanent Police Chief job. Everyone knows that I love this city and I love the @SeattlePD.
— Chief Carmen Best (@carmenbest) July 8, 2018
Best is joined by the two remaining original candidates — Eddie Frizell, Inspector, Minneapolis Police Department, and Ely Reyes, Assistant Chief, Austin Police Department.
According to the mayor’s Saturday announcement, this upcoming week, all candidates will do a series of community meetings and interviews with Durkan.