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Interim Seattle Police Chief discusses plans for the department

SEATTLE — Interim Seattle Police Chief Sue Rahr has got big plans for the department over the next six months.

On Friday, KIRO 7′s Samantha Lomibao spoke one on one with the Chief Rahr about her priorities moving forward.

“Let’s get the distractions dealt with and let’s get back to work,” said Rahr.

Friday marked her second day on the job, replacing Adrian Diaz after just a year-and-a-half as the sworn-in police chief.

“You know, I was expecting there’s some turmoil going on. I’m probably going to get some disgruntled looks. I got exactly the opposite. I got a room of people that were just sitting there just like, “We’re ready to go coach,” Rahr explained.

She says the next six months will be a sprint and not a marathon in getting things ready for the next permanent chief.

“To get things stabilized, identify opportunities to get different initiatives started. Make sure that we are on track. I guess I would describe it as planting seeds that are going to sprout after I’m gone,” she said.

As former King County Sheriff, her core value of ‘community policing’ remains a top priority for the department.

“Community policing is not separate from everything else we do, it’s how we do our policing,” Chief Rahr added.

She wants to make sure that her cops aren’t only interacting with the community, but understanding what each one needs to improve.

“And that’s different in different communities. Some communities like to see police cars a lot and other communities don’t want that and maybe that’s not the most effective way to keep their community safe,” Rahr said.

Rahr is also focused on speeding up recruitment and retaining officers.

“If it takes too long to get through the process, we’re going to lose good candidates to another department, so we have to get competitive,” she said.

Chief Rahr wants to highlight the tools and technology available to officers to do the job efficiently.

She also wants candidates to know that there is support for officers in the community.

Her main driving factor is ensuring flexible schedules.

“Once they either decide to start a family or maybe they’re taking on the care of an elderly parent, life circumstances,” Rahr added. “If they have the ability to go onto part-time status for a while, they don’t have to leave. It’s very expensive to replace an officer that’s left.”

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