Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Friday he plans to name his choice for the city’s new police chief during the week of May 19.
The decision will be among the most important made by Murray, who came into office in January promising to swiftly carry out federally mandated police reforms.
Murray also revealed that his 12-member search committee received a list of résumés Friday from a California recruiting firm that gathered applications.
The committee is expected to reduce the list to about 10 candidates to be screened and interviewed, according to sources familiar with the search process.
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By early May, the committee will recommend top candidates to Murray, who will begin interviews with them the week of May 12, according to the mayor’s office.
The names of three finalists will be announced in mid-May, Murray spokeswoman Megan Coppersmith said.
In a statement released Friday, Murray said the search had reached a “pivotal point,” with he and the committee’s two co-chairs optimistic about the pool of applicants.
The co-chairs are Ron Sims, the former King County executive and ex-deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Pramila Jayapal, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Community Change and founder and former executive director of OneAmerica, a nonprofit that advocates for immigrant, civil and human rights.
“We must reform the culture of our Police Department, and reform starts at the top,” Murray said in a statement Friday, referring to the city’s 2012 settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing in the Police Department.
The agreement, approved by U.S. District Judge James Robart, requires the city to adopt major changes in policies, training and data collection, some of which have lagged.
Murray originally had hoped to name a new chief by this month, but the timetable shifted. His nominee, who will replace Interim Chief Harry Bailey, will be submitted to the City Council to be considered for confirmation.
Earlier, a community advisory committee formed by Murray shared the results of its public outreach with the search committee. The search committee also will consider similar information gathered by the Community Police Commission and the federal monitoring team overseeing the settlement agreement.
“The community and our police officers deserve a Police Department that is ready and able to keep all people safe, serve all neighborhoods, treat all people with respect and protect their Constitutional rights,” Murray said in the statement. “That is the mandate of the federal court order and the goal of my administration as we work to create a national model for urban policing, and that will be the mission of Seattle’s next police chief.”
Seattle Times reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed to this story.
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter @stevemiletich