Video: Chief Carmen Best on Seattle’s need for change
September 28, 2021
Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told Change Washington that Seattle is on the edge of a precipice and that city leaders will determine whether we “turn and keep it the top-tier world class city that it is or if we’re going to just let mayhem and destruction take us in a different direction.”
Chief Best, a Change Washington Adviser, shared in the first of a series of videos to be released in the coming weeks that the Seattle City Council was a major reason she resigned as the top leader at SPD. The council’s threat to cut her department’s budget in half without any plan to retain diverse police officers or preserve and protect public safety was rash and irresponsible.
“I really couldn’t sign on to that. And, at that point I just knew it was time for me to go” she said.
One year later, hundreds of police have left, violent crime in Seattle has spiked and police response times are getting longer and longer. Chief Best said she is still looking for a plan from city council to address those issues as well as homelessness and addiction, but that unfortunately they’ve gone in the opposite direction she’d hoped.
“I really try to stay away from partisan politics,” Best said, “but people need to look at the track record of incumbents and really listen hard to what others are saying. It can’t be just lip service, people. You know, we need to have a plan and structure for how we’re going to have public safety,”
Of the upcoming election, Best said “I’m hoping that there are really good constructive changes.”
Next week, Change Washington will release more from Chief Best on the police staffing crisis and constructive police reforms.