Mayor Harrell Names Search Committee and Launches Community Survey to Identify Seattle’s Next Chief of Police

Seattle – Mayor Bruce Harrell announced today that as part of the City of Seattle’s national search for a Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department (SPD), he has named the search committee and is launching a new community survey to learn what priorities and qualities matter most to residents. The next Chief will be responsible for driving SPD innovations, increasing the number of officers, developing more diverse response options for when officers are not needed, and strengthening community engagement and trust. 

“Thoughtful input from public safety advocates and residents across Seattle will play a critical role in our search for our next permanent Chief of Police,” said Mayor Harrell. “Not only will the person we hire be tasked with leading our department and addressing rising crime and gun violence, they’ll also need to be a partner in developing innovative public safety solutions and working alongside the community to respond to local needs and build trust.” 

The Mayor’s Police Chief Search Committee includes a diverse roster of 14 local leaders and public safety experts, including law enforcement, members of the Community Police Commission, victim advocates, small business owners and supporters, and leaders from communities of color and other key voices. Find the complete list of committee members below.  

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

The search committee has been charged with selecting the final five candidates to move forward to the competitive examination phase. A competitive examination is required for the final candidates, per the City Charter, and City Council confirmation for the mayor’s ultimate selection. The search committee is also tasked with developing the written questions for the competitive 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,” said Mayor Harrell. “I’m excited to see the strong and capable crop of candidates that our search committee moves forward for the competitive examination.” 

A new website has been created to provide updates on the Chief of Police Search, as well as provide a comprehensive overview of the process, search committee information, and a survey for the community to give feedback on what issues matter most to them in the search. The website and survey are available in English, Amharic, Chinese (traditional), Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. 

As a vital part of this search process, the mayor seeks feedback from residents to help achieve – and maintain – transparent communications with the communities we serve. Survey results, which will be made public after analysis, will help guide the search committee and Mayor Harrell with essential perspectives to consider when selecting the next police chief. 

See the list of search committee members and more information about the search process here.  

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING 

“The position of Chief of Police is one of the most important in City government. Community involvement is critical to the appointment of a Chief, and I thank the Mayor for his inclusive approach to developing this search committee.” – Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Public Safety & Human Services Committee Chair 

“I’m looking forward to collaborating alongside this distinguished group of community leaders to build an equitable and community-led process to identify the leadership the mayor is seeking in the next police chief and implement his vision for public safety.” – Robert Saka, Attorney and Community Leader 

“Seattle residents and small businesses in every neighborhood deserve a police department led by a chief committed to public safety for all communities. I’m excited to bring this perspective to Mayor Harrell’s Police Chief Search Committee and look forward to helping make Seattle a safer city.” – Erin Goodman, Small Business Leader and Executive Director, SODO Business Improvement Area 

SPD Chief of Police 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