Anne Kirkpatrick, a longtime Washington state police officer, previously was a finalist for the job of police superintendent in Chicago.
Anne Kirkpatrick, former Spokane police chief and once second in command of the King County Sheriff’s Office, has been chosen to lead police reforms with the Chicago Police Department.
Kirkpatrick, 56, was one of three finalists to replace former police superintendent Garry McCarthy. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose 28-year Chicago police veteran Eddie Johnson for the post.
On Tuesday, Johnson named Kirkpatrick head of the police department’s Bureau of Professional Standards, which will implementrecommendations of a Police Accountability Task Force formed after video was released of a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.
After the video was released, Emanuel fired McCarthy.
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Kirkpatrick was formerly police chief of Ellensburg, Federal Way and Spokane and a semifinalist for Seattle police chief in 2010.
Most recently, she’s worked for the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association on issues of police discipline around the country since 2014.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart said Tuesday he hired Kirkpatrick as his chief deputy in 2012 because she was supportive and successful in building community trust during her time in Spokane. He said people are going to be looking at Chicago for police reform, and Kirkpatrick is the ideal person to do it.
“They got a real winner when she was hired,” he said.
Kirkpatrick’s background in police accountability reform includes her work with the Spokane Police Department after its officers were accused of beating and hogtying a mentally ill man, Otto Zehm, at a convenience store.
Kirkpatrick became the city’s police chief in September 2006, six months after the death of Zehm. The case resulted in the 2011 conviction of officer Karl Thompson for using excessive force
Kirkpatrick enjoyed strong support from the city’s elected leaders and the department’s captains and lieutenants union, but she clashed with the Spokane Police Guild over her discipline of officers, according to The Spokesman-Review.
Chicago Mayor Emanuel created the new police-reforms bureau in the wake of public outcry about police brutality, specifically after a white police officer shot black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, has been charged with murder.
Urquhart said what stood out about Kirkpatrick was her general feeling of how a police department needed to have the trust of the community, and how one of the best ways to do that is to hold officers accountable for their actions.
“She never wanted to look the other way,” Urquhart said. “It’s really easy to sweep officer malfeasance under the rug, but she was always willing to deal with it.”
Sarah Jarvis: 206-464-2055 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story, which includes information from The Associated Press.