Seattle’s First Black Female Police Chief Resigns Hours After City Council Votes To Cut Dept Budget

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement stunning the city and nation Monday evening after the Seattle City Council voting to slash funding by 14 percent.

Best, the first Black woman to lead the Seattle Police Department, spent 28 years with the Police Department.

“This was a difficult decision for me, but when it’s time, it’s time. I want to thank Mayor Durkan for her continuous support through good times and tough times,” she said.


“I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times. You truly are the best police department in the country, and please trust me when I say, the vast majority of people in Seattle support you and appreciate you.”

She added she looks forward to seeing “how this department moves forward through the process of re-envisioning public safety.”

Mayor Durkan said,

“Know that while I understand the Chief’s reasons, I accepted her decision with a very heavy heart. I have had the privilege to be with Chief Carmen Best in so many situations: with her family, at roll calls, in community meetings, and in nearly weekly meetings addressing public safety in Seattle.

Her grit, grace and integrity have inspired me and made our city better.

These last months, I knew Chief Best was the person to lead our city through this challenging time, to reimagine policing and community safety. Her leadership is unmatched nationwide, which is why it is a sad day for our City to lose her.

“Carmen Best is still devoted to this department and our city,” Durkan continued.

“I regret deeply that she concluded that the best way to serve the city and help the department was a change in leadership, in the hope that would change the dynamics to move forward with the City Council.”