Seattle Mayor Announces Nationwide Search for Police Chief | Washington News

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said Thursday he would begin the search for a permanent police chief in April.

Harrell announced he would begin the search for a permanent police chief to replace former chief Carmen Best, who left the post in late 2020, following protests over police brutality, criticism and budget cuts.

Best announced his retirement hours after the city council voted to cut his $285,000 annual salary by $10,000, along with the salaries of his command staff, and to cut up to 100 officers from a force 1,400 through layoffs and attrition. She said at the time that she was okay with his pay cut, but not with having to fire young officers, many of whom were minorities hired in part to improve the department’s diversity.

For the next 17 months, Adrian Diaz, who joined the department in 1997, served as acting chief.

The Seattle Times reports that during his inaugural address in January, Harrell pledged to “make decisions” about the chief’s job in the first quarter of the year.

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However, the city charter requires the mayor to conduct a search and nominate three finalists for the position of leader. The selected finalist must then be approved by the City Council.

Harrell said Thursday he would hire a third-party company to conduct a nationwide search for lead candidates and appoint local stakeholders to a search committee for the position in April.

According to a department spokesperson, Diaz is out of town at a conference and was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

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Brandon D. James