President Obama to Nominate Seattle’s Top Cop to Be Drug Czar

By Caitlin Taylor

Feb 11, 2009 11:33am

A White House source tells ABC News that President Obama will nominate Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske to be director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Kerlikowske, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, is former deputy director for the Justice’s Department’s COPS program, or the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which provided grants to put more police officers on the streets and was championed by Vice President Joe Biden, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Crime in Seattle is at a 40-year low. Known as a proponent of gun control, Kerlikowske has argued in favor of increased police use of Taser stun guns.

Last Fall, he was part of a panel of researchers who released a report that concluded that tracking terrorists through data-mining "is neither feasible as an objective nor desirable as a goal of technology development efforts" since false positives will result in the inaccurate flagging of "ordinary, law-abiding citizens and businesses"

Kerlikowse’s appointment to the Obama administration, pending Senate approval, was first reported Tuesday evening by the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The paper quoted a police administrator who said Kerlikowske had alerted executive staff of the SPD that the president intended to nominate him to be White House "Drug Czar," a position that is Cabinet rank.

An Army veteran, Kerlikowske has served as police commissioner for Buffalo, NY, and the chief of police for both Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Florida. He began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a police officer with the St. Petersburg Police in Florida.

- jpt

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