National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
President Perry Tarrant
Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief


ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Seattle Police Department (SPD) Assistant Chief, Perry Tarrant, has been named national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) which serves more than 3,000 members worldwide.  The announcement came at the conclusion of NOBLE's 40th Anniversary Training Conference and Exhibition in Washington, DC. In his new role, Mr. Tarrant will be responsible for the strategic direction and leading the efforts to continue the organization's trajectory of strengthening its fiscal resources and infrastructure, while increasing the delivery of program services to ensure there is equity in the administration of justice.
Perry Tarrant has law enforcement knowledge spanning decades. Prior to being recruited as an Assistant Chief for the City of Seattle, Perry rose through the ranks in the Tucson Police Department. He started as an officer for the department and became a member of the SWAT team and canine unit. From 1990 to 1997, Mr. Tarrant supervised internal affairs, traffic, SWAT, and other operations. From 1997 to 2005, he served as a lieutenant and oversaw neighborhood crime teams and the department's aviation support section, was patrol commander for two different areas of the City, and was an executive officer in the Office of the Chief. In 2005, Mr. Tarrant was promoted to captain where he was a patrol division commander, specialized response division commander, and investigation division commander. In 2014, Mr. Tarrant was appointed to coordinate the City of Yakima's Gang Free Initiative's prevention and intervention programs and to act as the city's Emergency Preparedness Director. Currently, Mr. Tarrant commands the Special Operations Bureau of the Seattle Police Department. Mr. Tarrant has participated in formal reviews of complex officer involved shootings and uses of force, and is considered a subject matter expert. 

Mr. Perry Tarrant has studied at the FBI National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police and is a certified FEMA Incident Commander & Instructor. He also holds a Criminal Justice Graduate Studies Certificate from the University of Virginia and a certificate from the NOBLE CEO Program.
Assistant Chief Tarrant expressed enthusiasm in leading the organization at such a crucial point in its history stating, "I look forward to extending NOBLE's member value platforms and working to help transform law enforcement to reflect the requirements and needs of policing in the 21st century." Tarrant continued, "NOBLE intends to leverage its nearly 3,000 members to commit to the 21st Century Policing model." Mr. Tarrant's predecessor also noted the significance of his election coming on heels of multiple police-citizen incidents that will shape the future of policing in America. "Given the recent events around the nation, race and policing are at a pivotal point in our nation's history," stated Gregory A. Thomas, Senior Executive for Law Enforcement Operations at Office of the Kings County District Attorney and outgoing NOBLE National President." Thomas continues, "NOBLE stands at the forefront of the changes that need to take place in training, recruitment and building trust and our leadership is poised to have maximum impact on national policing models. I've been working with Assistant Chief Tarrant for the past year in his role as NOBLE's First National Vice President and I am confident he's fully prepared to carry the baton.  He comes with a wealth of experience, is knowledgeable and certainly capable of taking NOBLE into the next era of policing. I am proud to have him as a successor and look forward to working with him as president." 
About the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
Since 1976, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) has served as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. NOBLE represents over 3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies at federal, state, county and municipal levels, other law enforcement administrators, and criminal justice practitioners. For more information, visit .
NOBLE Media Contact:   
LaTasha Baker
973.861.8621 (Mobile)
Candace Sandy (Mobile)
Dwayne A. Crawford                
703.658.1529 (Office)
404.849.8966 (Mobile)


Seattle assistant chief to lead national black law-enforcement group

Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant will head the 3,000 mostly African-American police chiefs and sheriffs that make up the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Perry Tarrant knows he has a unique perspective on many of the divisive national issues over policing.

As a black man and assistant chief for the Seattle Police Department,the 56-year-old Tarrant understands the fear and anxiety that many people of color feel during police interactions, as well as the frustration officers feel trying to gain thetrust of minority communities.

Bridging this divide is one of Tarrant’s main goals as the newly elected president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), which aims to “ensure equity in the administration of justice,” according to its website.

“There has to be dialogue, and the dialogue is going to make both sides uncomfortable, but ultimately we can’t move beyond where we are currently in time without conversation,” Tarrant said during an interview. “And there has to be transparency in order to build trust and reduce fear.”

Trust and fear have been at the forefront of the national conversation after recent police shootings of black men and the targeting of police by gunmen in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. Tarrant believes NOBLE, through its outreach programs, can help foster understanding between police and African Americans.

Tarrant, who commands the Police Department’s Special Operations Bureau, started his tenure as president about two weeks ago after serving as national first vice president.

Originally from Dallas, Tarrant spent 34 years with the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department, working in patrol, the K-9 unit, SWAT team, bomb squad, aviation and internal affairs. In 2014, he left for Yakima, where he coordinated the city’s gang-free initiative and emergency preparedness.

He joined Seattle police last year.

Tarrant didn’t always want to work in law enforcement. He originally studied physics engineering before getting his degree in political science with a minor in counterterrorism at the University of Arizona, and a master’s in administration at Northern Arizona University.

“Being a cop was never on my radar,” he said.

It wasn’t until Tarrant was pulled over by police in Tucson that he realized he wanted to enter the field to change the way police work with the community. He said the officers who stopped him were unnecessarily rude — and that stuck.

Now Tarrant hopes to continue to have those “difficult conversations” that will bridge minority communities and law enforcement — melding two communities he’s deeply invested in.

Tarrant said NOBLE has 3,000 members spread across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and the Bahamas. The organization represents chief executive officers and command-level law-enforcement officials from federal, state, county, municipal law-enforcement agencies, and criminal-justice practitioners, according to its website.

In light of the recent violence and tensions between law enforcement and some in the African-American community, Tarrant said it is especially important for NOBLE to build up its local chapters to help the healing process.

“All these events of late: Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights … every one is local to that community. We can talk about it as part of a national conversation, but the greatest hurt and the greatest need for healing are within those communities,” Tarrant said. “NOBLE has chapters in those areas and intends to be part of the solution.”

He said NOBLE will work to increase communication between law enforcement and the communities they serve and build on the tenets of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing — whose areas of focus include building trust, officer safety and wellness, and the future of community policing, among others.

NOBLE is going to continue its community-engagement program, which he said centers on public meetings for youth focusing on what they can expect during interactions with officers and what their rights are, among other topics.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who hired Tarrant, said in a department statement that leadership is critical right now in policing.

“For over three decades NOBLE has been at the leading edge of law enforcement with its commitment to justice and reform,” she said in the statement. “I look forward to working with Chief Tarrant as he continues this legacy.”

Tarrant said the Seattle Police Department is a model for de-escalation, where officers are aware of situations that could become violent and work to decrease factors that cause fear and stress. The department enacted a use-of-force policy in 2014 that focuses on de-escalation techniques.

Tarrant said there are some steps, like de-escalation tactics, that officers can take to make policing better, but that isn’t the only area that needs improvement.

Tarrant participated in a discussion at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week about reforms to the criminal-justice system, and the role of police in that system. He said mandatory minimum sentences take away a judge’s ability to give appropriate sentences to criminals, and that a lack of integration support for those leaving prison means there is a high probability they will continue to commit crimes.

Apart from the criminal-justice system, he said people need to “delve into how we treat each other on a social and societal level.”

“People expect the police to solve a lot of issues that are well outside of the average officer’s skill set and the resources available to them,” he said. “That is really what’s frustrating — policing is just one aspect of the criminal-justice system.”


Perry Tarrant

Current title: Assistant Chief of the Special Operations Bureau for the Seattle Police Department

Background: Tarrant spent 34 years with the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department, working in patrol, the K-9 unit, SWAT team, bomb squad, aviation and internal affairs. In 2014, he left for Yakima, where he coordinated the city’s gang-free initiative and emergency preparedness.

Education: Master’s from Northern Arizona University (NAU), a Certificate of Graduate Study in Criminal Justice from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona.