Best was born and raised in Tacoma, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1983. She started working for the Seattle Police Department in 1992 and became the interim police chief on January 1, 2018, following the departure of Kathleen O’Toole.
Best will be the first black woman to lead the department as chief. Since starting her career, Best has served in a wide range of positions including school safety, media relations supervisor, operations lieutenant, and assistant chief in the criminal investigations bureau. During her time at the department, Best rose through the ranks of police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy chief.
Best completed the Senior Management Institute for Police, the FBI National Academy, and the Criminal Justice Executive Leadership Academy. She also received the “Newsmaker of the Year” award from the Seattle Black Press, according to the Seattle Police Department website.
Best has a certificate in police management from the University of Washington and is expected to receive her Master’s in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University later this year.
The Seattle Police Department says Best is married and has two adult daughters.
We honor you, Carmen Best.