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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 27, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Police chief: Kathleen O’Toole is an impressive choice

Kathleen O’Toole, former Boston police commissioner, beams Monday as Mayor Ed Murray announces she’s his choice for Seattle police chief. (BETTINA HANSEN / The Seattle Times)

When Seattle Mayor Ed Murray asked me to serve on his search committee for the next police chief, I didn’t hesitate to accept his offer [“O’Toole spells out ambitious plan to bolster Seattle police,” Local News, May 19]. This was not only because of the opportunity to work with Mayor Murray again, but the opportunity to help such a wonderful city shape its future and serve its community.

Everyone who lives, works and visits Seattle should feel confident in the selection of Kathleen O’Toole as the next police chief. The impression she left upon me and others on the committee after her interview is still fresh in my mind. I remember former King County sheriff and fellow committee member Sue Rahr and I turning to each other and uttering a silent but exaggerated “wow” when O’Toole finished speaking with us and walked out of the room.

Her résumé is far more than a list of accomplishments to brag about at dinner parties. It is a study in successful law-enforcement-agency reforms around the country — and the world. From the Massachusetts State Police to the Boston Police Department to the Irish national police service, O’Toole has applied principled leadership and reform strategies to help law-enforcement officers maximize their potential while building or restoring public trust. That level of leadership comes from the resolve to make the difficult decisions that must be made, learn from mistakes and always press onward toward the goal.

John Lovick, Snohomish County Executive

Comments | More in Seattle Police Department | Topics: John Lovick, police chief, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

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