SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to confirm Kathleen O’Toole as Seattle’s new police chief.
The ‘no’ vote was cast by City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who said in remarks before the vote that she’s not sure O’Toole will challenge the Seattle Police Department power structure enough. “Working people deserve safe neighborhoods,” she said.
O’Toole is Seattle’s first female police chief.
A preliminary vote from a Seattle City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee paved the way for O’Toole’s full confirmation.
Lawmakers have been questioning O’Toole ever since Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced her as his choice to be Seattle’s police chief.
O’Toole met with council members and citizens in south Seattle. She talked about changing the culture at the Seattle Police Department.
“We need to provide people at all levels of the organization a clear vision, a clear road map, and give everybody a chance to get on board,” O’Toole said. “And those people that don’t want to get on board, or those people who do resist, well, we have to hold them accountable.”