Less than a month after Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced major changes to the department’s command staff structure, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today announced a new position designed to serve between the Mayor’s Office and the Seattle Police Department.
“In the ongoing effort to bring a Police department that is both effective and responsible to the citizens of Seattle,” said Murray, “and in further compliance with the reforms suggested by the Department of Justice, it is with both pride and pleasure that I introduce to you the City of Seattle’s new liaison to the Police Department, Mark Sidran.” After briefly listing the former City Attorney’s bona fides, Murray continued, “the people of Seattle deserves the best leadership possible not only in driving ongoing reform efforts, but because all individuals in this city deserve to feel safe and protected in their communities, also in ensuring our police department is dispensing the kind of justice our citizens need. We can be a national model for urban policing, and as my friend and colleague’s record proves, Mark Sidran is the right choice to lead us there.”
“I am humbled and excited to have this extraordinary opportunity,” said Sidran, who, if confirmed, would be Seattle’s first person to man what many in city hall are calling the city’s new Police Czar position. “I look forward to working with Mayor Murray, members of the Seattle Police Department and the community to restore trust and develop a police service second to none.”
The announcement has been met with befuddlement and mild outrage by those who remember Sidran’s tenure as City Attorney, which has been characterized as both reactionary and unsympathetic to the disadvantaged by those ideologically opposed to Sidran’s policies. “I have no idea why they’re surprised,” tweeted @206LeftyMF, “those two have been connected for ages.”