Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
© AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best
Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best will leave her post after a summer of unrest in the Emerald City.

Best announced Monday night in a message to the police department that she will retire next month and that she is " confident the department will make it through these difficult times."

Best was appointed to the role of chief of police by Mayor Jenny Durkan in July 2018 and is the first black woman to lead the department.

"I have the credentials. I have the resume. I have the heart," Best said in 2018. "I am the one for this job. I hope the citizens and the mayor and others will see that and make me the permanent police chief."

Best's decision to leave the force comes just hours after the Seattle City Council voted to cut the funding to the SWAT Unit and the Navigation Team, a unit of specially trained police officers who, along with caseworkers, conduct outreach to Seattle's homeless population and remove homeless encampments from public spaces.
seattle city coucil cut police budget
© KTTH/Screenshot
Councilmember Lisa Herbold
The funding measure approved by the council will reduce the city's 2020 police budget by about $3 million. The new budget also reduced Best's salary by 6%.

"Why on Earth — for the people who've worked so very hard — would we ever consider not having the best of the best and compensating them fairly?" Best said in a press conference after the cuts were proposed. "I find that absolutely shocking and quite frankly — I think it's punitive and not well thought out. And that's exactly how I feel about it."

After the vote passed, Durkan described the cuts as "unfortunate."

"It is unfortunate Council has refused to engage in a collaborative process to work with the Mayor, Chief Best, and community members to develop a budget and policies that respond to community needs while accounting for — not just acknowledging — the significant labor and legal implications involved in transforming the Seattle Police Department," she said in a statement.

Protests in Seattle escalated to riots and an occupation of a six-block area called the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" earlier this summer. The mayor suggested the occupied zone could bloom into a "summer of love," before two teenagers were shot and killed there.
Carly Ortiz-Lytle is the Social Media Producer for the Washington Examiner. She is a recent graduate of the University of California Davis, majoring in International Relations.