Seattle City Council questions police chief nominee

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Katherine O’Toole (Photo: KCPQ-TV)

SEATTLE — Seattle City Council members are about to ask SPD Chief nominee Kathleen O’Toole a series of questions listed below in her first confirmation hearing.

This story will be updated with her responses and more following the hearing.  These are the questions asked of O’Toole.

1)      What do you consider the biggest opportunities and challenges facing SPD in the next 3 years? How would you propose addressing these challenges

2)      Why do you want to be the Chief of SPD? What would be your top 3 priorities if confirmed?

3)      What is your view of an ideal relationship between the Mayor, City Council and Police Chief?

4)      Tell us about a major incident you commanded-what happened? How was it resolved? Was it planned or reactive? How did you work with other jurisdictions?

5)      One of the biggest tasks will be to implement cultural change and transformation within the Department. What does that mean to you? How have you changed or transformed an organization? What worked, and what did not? Do you anticipate resistance to change and how would you deal with it? What are the most important things in implementing this kind of organizational change?

6)      Seattle is a culturally diverse community. What strategies would you use to make the SPD more representative of the community it serves? How would you implement those strategies in Seattle?

7)      What performance measures and other indicators would you use to evaluate the effectiveness of the PD?

8)      How do you determine appropriate staffing levels in a PD? How many officers is enough?

9)      What do you consider examples of innovation in police work? How have you implemented these innovations yourself?

10)   What do you do to stay in touch with the officers “on the street”

11)   How have you used data to manage resources in your previous department? What is your direct experience in predictive policing and evidence-based policing?

12)   What is your view on discipline? Have you worked previously with civilian oversight boards? Tell us your relationship with those boards or how you would approach the idea of civilian oversight? Is it important to you and if so why?

13)   The Gender Wage Gap at SPD is one of the worst in city government. Of 1,832 permanent employees, 72% are men. Women are grossly underrepresented in the department and they experience one of the largest pay gaps in the city, with the average hourly pay of $34.65, vs. male employees’ average of $43.60. 68% of all male employees earn over $40 an hour, compared to 37% of all female employees. It is apparent that the department has deeply rooted institutional gender equity issues. And apparently situations are even worse for women of color. Have you faced similar problems in other Department sin which you have worked? What strategies would you use to narrow the pay gap between male employees and female employees with the emphasis on the inequities with women of color?

14)   Departments across the country are facing the challenge of developing the next generation of leaders. Please describe for us your view of the responsibility of the police chief to develop leaders. Tell us what you have done in your previous work to meet this challenge.  Please tell us how you will prepare to handle this challenge in Seattle, given the increasing number of retirements in the future.

We’ll have more on the hearing on Q13 FOX News at 4:00 and 5:00.

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