Police Chief Confirmation
10:43 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Kathleen O'Toole: Police Recruit 'The Wrong Type Of People'

Kathleen O'Toole chats with Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess before sitting down to talk with the Public Safety Committee.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle Police Chief nominee Kathleen O’Toole met with the City Council Public Safety Committee on Wednesday. It was one of several question and answer sessions O’Toole will attend as part of her confirmation process.

O'Toole told committee members police departments have been hiring the wrong kind of officers. "Policing on television is all about car chases and gun fights and enforcement," she said, "when in fact, the vast majority of police work is about providing service to people in need.”

Representatives from different neighborhoods showed up to meet O’Toole and ask for her help keeping their neighborhoods safe. Diane Earl, who lives in Rainier Valley, said her work with victims of domestic violence makes her a good judge of character.

Earl said she’s used to being ignored by the police chief, but that she thinks O’Toole will be different. “You can just feel it in the room that she’s not going to back down and become one of the 'good old boys,'" she said. "Because she seems very assertive and very outgoing and she’ll call you on it. I just have that feeling about her. There’s just something about her.”

The public will have more opportunities to comment on O’Toole’s nomination when the Public Safety committee meets next week. Confirmation by the full council is expected on June 23.