Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best reportedly shortlisted to lead NYPD

Former Police Chief Carmen Best, who oversaw the Seattle Police Department during the tumultuous racial justice protests in 2020, is said to be a finalist to lead the New York Police Department.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, the New York Post reported Wednesday that Best is among three candidates considered “favorites” on New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ shortlist for the post of chief of police, consisting of six. to eight women. The New York Times also reported on Wednesday, based on an anonymous source, that Best is one of “at least two black women” under Adams’ consideration for the post of NYPD commissioner.

Best, during an interview with the Seattle Times on Wednesday about his new book, “Black in Blue: Lessons on Leadership, Breaking Barriers, and Racial Reconciliation,” referred to the Post’s report early in the discussion, saying that she didn’t want to comment or talk about it.

When asked later in the interview if she would consider becoming a police chief again, she replied, “As for the future, I’m not ruling anything out.

Other people named in the Post report as potential candidates for the leadership of the nation’s largest police department include Philadelphia Police Chief Danielle Outlaw and former Newark, New Jersey Police Chief Ivonne Novel. The Times report referred to current NYPD patrol leader Juanita Holmes as another potential candidate.

With more than 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees, the New York City Police Agency eclipses the approximately 1,200 Seattle officer department that Best led for two years before abruptly leaving amid the fallout and budget cuts for the 2020 events.

After being first sidelined from the top post in Seattle, then interim chief Best was named permanent chief in 2018 by Mayor Jenny Durkan after a community outcry. She led the department amid last year’s protests over racial justice and police reform following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Best, 56, who became a frequent guest on national cable TV talk shows during the unrest, announced his abrupt retirement from the post of chief after city council proposals to cut the department’s budget.

In his book, which was published last week, Best blames his treatment of council and his pursuit of 50% cuts to police funding as the reason for his departure. Parts of the book about what happened during the events of 2020 were disputed by council members and other critics of the department’s use of tear gas and other brutal tactics under Best’s command. which sparked public outrage, lawsuits and a federal judge’s contempt order against SPD.

In June, former city council member and mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell, who now appears to be heading for victory in the Seattle mayoral race, said in an interview with the Seattle Times that he considered Best a “model” police chief from whom he always asks for advice on public security. problems. Harrell will likely preside over the selection of the city’s next head of Seattle’s department, which faces a staffing crisis and remains under federal watch under a consent decree.

When asked in June if he would consider bringing Best back, Harrell said: “I won’t rule that out at all.”

Best, in her interview on Wednesday, said she had “tremendous respect” for Harrell, but added, “I have no plans to be chef in Seattle again.”

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