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Mayor Harrell Nominates Rebecca Gonzales to be Next Director of the Community Safety



Seattle – Today, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that he will appoint Rebecca “Reba” Gonzales to be the next Director of the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC). Gonzales currently serves as a Deputy Chief with the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), overseeing the department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division and has been with the department for nearly 30 years.

“Seattle’s CSCC is at the center of our 911 emergency response, ensuring that neighbors in need receive the resources they need as quickly as possible. Deputy Chief Gonzales’ decades of hands-on experience in emergency preparedness and deployments will be critical as Seattle innovates approaches to public safety, diversifies how we respond to emergencies, and improves response times,” said Mayor Harrell. “Reba will advance creative new ideas, thoughtful leadership, a commitment to diversity, and strong labor partnerships. Her record of service, commitment to helping others, and passion for this work makes Reba a perfect candidate to lead the CSCC and partner with our City’s talented and dedicated call center first responders – I’m excited to see her vision unfold for the City’s newest public safety department.”

“I am honored and humbled to be appointed to run Seattle’s CSCC and promise to uphold the mission of effectively and efficiently getting people the help they need in emergencies,” said Gonzales. “When I first started with SFD many – many – years ago, I joined because I knew it was a good job and a way to give back. I never could have imagined that I would be here today, and I want to thank all the outstanding Fire Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics who served as role models along the way. I’m excited to work more closely with CSCC dispatchers and help our newest department better serve Seattle residents.”

Prior to serving as Deputy Chief overseeing the EMS Division within SFD, Gonzales served as an Operations Deputy Chief and a Battalion Chief with responsibilities of commanding SFD incidents while on duty, as the Captain of Emergency Preparedness/Homeland Security for the department, as well as positions within general fire operations, firefighter recruitment, and public information roles. She also held leadership roles with the Seattle Fire Chiefs Association including President of IAFF Local 2898. Gonzales has an M.S. in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.S. in Business Administration from University of the Pacific.

The CSCC was created as a new department in 2021 after the Seattle City Council voted to move the 911 call and dispatch center out of the Seattle Police Department. All 911 calls in Seattle initially go to the CSCC as the primary public safety answering point for the City of Seattle. If the call is police-related, the CSCC will dispatch SPD officers directly and help to manage radio communications. If fire or medical-related, the CSCC will transfer the call to SFD’s Fire Alarm Center for dispatch of SFD resources. The CSCC handles approximately 900,000 calls per year and is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Mayor Harrell is committed to continuously improving how the City responds to emergencies and those in need through innovations in response type, dispatch systems, and programs and personnel. The CSCC will play a critical role in coordinating with the Mayor and City Council on developing and expanding the City’s emergency response options to better meet the city’s needs. This project will include the implementation of a pilot civilian response team that will be dual dispatched with police to priority 3 and 4 calls with a mental/behavioral nexus.

Through this work the City will be able to preserve first responder capacity for emergency calls and ensure that the City is able to provide the appropriate service to support the need. This pilot will add capacity to SPD response and prioritize appropriate behavioral and mental health responses across the City. The pilot is funded in the 2023-2024 budget and this team is scheduled to launch later this year.