City Council confirms Kathleen O'Toole as next Seattle police chief

Updated:

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole after her swearing-in ceremony.

SEATTLE - The Seattle City Council has given final approval to hire Kathleen O'Toole as police chief.

The Council approved O'Toole 8-1.   Councilwoman Kshama Sawant was the one opposing vote.

The first woman to lead the department will oversee about 1,300 officers as she works to carry out an agreement with the Justice Department to end the use of excessive force and biased policing.

The 59-year-old O'Toole is a former Boston police officer who rose to become Boston's police commissioner from 2004 to 2006. She also oversaw reforms in the Irish national police force.

Former Seattle chief John Diaz retired in April 2013 after a three-year tenure. He was succeeded by interim chiefs Jim Pugel and Harry Bailey.

Mayor Ed Murray asked the council to approve a salary of $250,000 for O'Toole, about $52,000 more than Diaz made.

O’Toole was sworn into office Monday afternoon.

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