Chief Kathleen O'Toole

RESUME: Chief of Police, City of Seattle

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE ON THE BOARD? I’ve been a big fan of Special Olympics since I was young. My cousin Patty was an athlete (swimming and track) and I saw how it shaped her life and brought joy to her. This was an easy decision to make.

WHAT SPORTS DO YOU PLAY? Softball, field hockey, basketball in high school in Massachusetts. Now, I play tennis, I golf, and I ski.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM SPORTS THAT YOU’VE APPLIED TO YOUR CAREER? I’m convinced that the leadership qualities I developed as a youngster prepared me to assume the responsibilities I have today. The commitment to teamwork and working collaboratively with others, being a good sport, integrity, there are so many aspects of sports I’ve been able to transfer into my leadership roles in policing. 

WHAT WILL THE GAMES MEAN TO THE CITY OF SEATTLE? I can’t image a place where the games would be better received. I’ve experienced such incredible passion here for helping and assisting others, respecting diversity…people here really care about each other. It’s a big city but it feels like a small town. I guarantee it will be an extraordinary experience for the athletes.

THE SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS HAPPY TO HELP: We love this kind of work, police have been aligned with Special Olympics for many years through several events. We’ve always been supporters anyway and for the Seattle Police Department to be able to contribute to the USA Games will be a real privilege. 

WHAT SHOULD ATHLETES SEE AND TO IN SEATTLE? I love walking around the city. There’s so many beautiful natural sights. And I love the Museum of Flight, it’s a really cool place.