Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Chief_Davis.jpg
We can't be certain, but Ron Davis might be pulling ahead.
If Mayor Mike McGinn has a favorite among the three candidates for Seattle's next

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Handicapping the Seattle Police Chief Candidates

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Chief_Davis.jpg
We can't be certain, but Ron Davis might be pulling ahead.
If Mayor Mike McGinn has a favorite among the three candidates for Seattle's next Chief of Police, he's not saying.

Standing before the door following last night's public Q & A at Seattle Center, McGinn told reporters: "All I can say is these are three very strong candidates and that it's going to be a very tough decision."

But it's unlikely that McGinn doesn't already have a sense of who he's going to tap for the job. And based on their answers at last night's forum, we can gauge who's likeliest to be chosen.

If our law enforcement institutions can be characterized as corporations, then none presented himself as better ready to lead Seattle Police Inc. than Sacramento police chief Rick Braziel.

"I borrow heavily from corporate culture," he said. He wants the police department to "have the look and feel of a business," where citizens are "customers" and police work is "service" that needs delivering.

But that kind of talk isn't likely to jibe with the image that former-corporate-lawyer-turned-man-of-the-people McGinn has crafted since his winning campaign.

Seattle interim chief John Diaz, meanwhile, represents the status quo. And everything about McGinn says he's going to want to put his own stamp on this position.

That leaves Chief Ron Davis of East Palo Alto, as the likeliest contender. As previously noted, he currently runs a department that is much smaller than the one he would be taking over. But he just sounds so Seattle. "Police enforcement has to be tailored to each neighborhood and the culture of the people who live there," he said last night.

The city was certainly attempting to do some community tailoring last night--there were ten different translators on hand to give non-English speakers access to the debate. But there was no call for their services and they left after an hour.

 
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