Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan named Carmen Best as the city’s new police chief two years ago and it was a great moment for anyone who is looking for true equality. Best is the first black woman to hold the position in the city’s history. Now that her tenure is coming to an end for reasons that do not make very much sense, Mayor Durkan is acting as if she actually cares.
Best is resigning because of the insanity that is taking place in Seattle and Durkan accepts it with a “heavy heart”. The City Council has made a decision that is going to haunt the city for years to come. The Seattle police force is going to be letting 100 officers go and they are trimming the budget significantly.
$4 million dollars is being removed from Seattle’s police coffers. Chief Best has all of the reason in the world to be upset with the decision but she has decided to handle the changes with class. Her resignation statement takes the high road and she’s clearly not trying to win a words at this point. We are sure that she is fuming, though.
Best was given all of two years to serve as the city’s police chief. That’s not enough. She still has so much work to do but Seattle has decided that the police force needs to be defunded. Best’s letter is a great read. It’s a master class on taking the high road. Durkan won’t even be able to twist her words. She is accepting Best’s decision because she does not have much of a choice otherwise.
“I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times,” Best’s letter reads. “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. … I look forward to seeing how this department moves forward through the process of re-envisioning public safety. I relish the work that will be done by all of you.”
Meanwhile, Durkan’s response was similarly restrained. We wouldn’t be surprised if harsh words were exchanged behind closed doors but these two are doing their best to remain professional in the meantime. “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,” Durkan’s statement read.
The joint press conference that these two are going to give will be priceless. We wish that we could be a fly on the wall for this one. There are sure to be some fiery questions being asked. Durkan is going to find it hard to keep her composure. The City Council had to know that this was coming, too. Best’s salary had been slashed and we are sure that there are not too many police chiefs who would be willing to tolerate that.
Best is ready to move onto greener pastures and we cannot say that we blame her. Seattle is going to end up looking foolish in the years to come if they are dealing with a sustained crime wave and Best has taken over another city’s police force by this time. Durkan’s full statement demands more attention, too. From the looks of it, we are of the belief that she is using the statement to casually send a few shots in the former police chief’s direction.
The statement implies that Best could have done something differently or that the problems the city has been experiencing were her fault. All the police chief wanted to do was put a stop to the violence in her city but Durkan is kneecapping her every step of the way. In a situation like this, it is easy to see why Best is stepping aside. She’s not being given the tools she needs to succeed.