SPD’s interim police chief focused on preventing future school shootings

SEATTLE — For the first time since the tragic shooting at Garfield High School, KIRO 7 spoke one-on-one with Interim Seattle Police Chief Sue Rahr about what’s being done to keep kids safe.

“To me, a fast response is not success. Preventing the tragedy in the first place is success,” said Rahr.

The tragic shooting of Amarr Murphy-Paine has weighed heavy on the hearts of the Seattle community.

Rahr says she’s focused on getting to the root of the problem.

“It’s a lot harder to prevent, and it takes a lot more trust first between the adults that are managing the facilities and then the trust between the police and students and school staff,” said Rahr.

There will be more patrol cars, but Rahr also wants to bring back SRO’s (School Resource Officers) on campus, which was suspended by the district in 2020.

“I want to ask people, can we hit the reset button? Can we come back to the table? Can we start talking about? How do we do this together? The schools can’t do it alone. The police can’t do it alone.”

As they plan ahead for the next school year, Rahr says she’s determined on creating connections and getting to know the students.

“Who is there not for security, not for enforcement, but for simply getting to know the students and developing a relationship and open communication that officer will begin hearing this is happening. These two people have a beef. This is likely to explode,” she explained.

The search for the suspect in Murphy-Paine’s death continues.

Despite a viral video of the fight on social media, Chief Rahr told KIRO 7 Instagram isn’t enough for warrant.

“We have to gather information that we can validate to get search warrants to get into cell records video feeds things like that,” she added. “If the search warrants don’t stand up or we take evidence that has been gotten without a search warrant, we risk not having a successful trial.”

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