City of Seattle Hosting Community Conversations in Police Chief Search

Seattle – Seattle residents and community members are invited to join five upcoming community conversations shaping the City’s search for the next Seattle Police Department Chief of Police. Hosted by the Mayor’s Office and facilitated by Empower Initiative, the discussions will create opportunities for Seattle residents to share the priorities and values they are seeking in the City’s next Chief of Police. 

“As we work to identify our Seattle Police Department’s next chief, we designed a community-driven search process where input and outreach are core elements,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “From the highest levels, our Seattle Police Department must reflect the qualities Seattle residents demand – a leader who runs an effective department with accountability, innovation, and transparency. These forums, in addition to our search committee and survey, ensure we are receiving a diverse array of perspectives that enhance our efforts to hire the best possible police chief, respond to current community priorities, and build a safe city for all.” 

An in-person conversation for the general public will be held this Tuesday, July 26 from 7:00PM to 8:30PM at the North Seattle Community College (Room: The Grove). The 90-minute conversation will include a presentation about policing and best practices from other cities, a question-and-answer period, and an open forum for neighbors to provide comments, ideas, and additional feedback as the search continues. Additional forums throughout the week will also generate focused input from Seattle communities. 

These conversations offer residents an additional option to make their voice heard, building on a community survey made available from the beginning of the search here in seven different languages: English, Spanish, Amharic, Somali, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese. In April, Mayor Harrell announced a search committee representing a diverse array of stakeholders and community leaders who are responsible for identifying and selecting the final five candidates to move forward to the Charter-required competitive examination phase. In addition to the survey, committee, and forums, community engagement will continue throughout the search process. 

The week’s forums will be moderated by Ben McBride from Empower Initiative, an organization that has worked with 100 law enforcement executives and agencies. The goal for these conversations is to create space for community members to elevate their perspectives and experiences to inform the search process and future efforts to ensure public safety for all communities. 

An overview of scheduled forums, as well as regular updates on the Chief of Police search process and timeline, is available at the Seattle Police Chief Search web page. Please note these conversations may have a “community focus” area but are not exclusive to that community. Links to these virtual meetings will be posted here for the public to observe and engage. 

Time Location Community Focus 
July 25, 6:00p-7:30p Mount Calvary Christian Church: 1412 23rd Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 Faith, Central District, South Seattle 
July 26, 5:00p-6:30p  Virtual (Link to view will be on the website) Small and Local Businesses 
July 26, 7:00p-8:30p North Seattle College (Room: The Grove) General Public 
July 30, 3:00p-4:30p Rainier Beach Community College (Room: Multi-Purpose Room – MPR) Youth 
July 30, 5:00p-6:30p Virtual (Link to view will be on the website) Immigrant & Refugee (Live-feed interpreter lines will be available) 

If you are interested and available to participate or would like to extend an invitation to a delegate, please send your RSVPs to Nina.Park@seattle.gov