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Seattle selects first black female chief of police

PICTURED: Carmen Best, the first black woman to serve as Seattle Police Department chief (Image: Carmen Best/Twitter)

THE SEATTLE Police Department has selected a black woman to serve as chief for the first time ever.

Carmen Best was initially not considered for the top role, despite serving as interim chief, according the The Seattle Times.

Best, who has worked in the Seattle Police department for 26 years, rose through the ranks and assumed the role of interim chief of the Seattle Police Department in January.

She had applied to take on the top job permanently but did not initially make a shortlist of three candidates. The decision sparked an outcry from community leaders and the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild and officials eventually put Best on the shortlist after another candidate withdrew, The Seattle Times reported.

On Twitter, Best thanked her supporters and shared how she felt about the appointment.

“I wanted to thank all of you for your support. I will be announced as the next Seattle Police chief. I am excited to lead the men and women of this great agency. It is my commitment to you that I will move the department ahead on continued improvement and innovation,” she wrote.

Best also said that she was “honoured” to have been selected.

“She knows our city and our officers. She has worked in every neighborhood and understands the unique public-safety challenges facing every one of our communities,” the mayor said, adding, “She has [an] unparalleled work ethic. You can’t keep up with her,” The Seattle Times reported that Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan said during a news conference.

Prior to her latest appointment, Best served as deputy chief, where she oversaw the patrol operations, investigations and special operations bureaus.

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