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Search for next Seattle police chief is underway

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(The Center Square) – Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has resigned from his position, with former King County Sheriff Sue Rahr taking over temporarily as the search for a permanent police chief is underway.

According to Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office, the city’s charter has specific requirements set regarding the hiring of a police chief. A competitive examination will be held to find three finalists for the position. Harrell will then select the next permanent chief and the city council will have to confirm the selection.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the move on Wednesday, stating that Diaz “will be stepping aside to work on special assignments.” This comes after Diaz was accused of grooming and harassment by four female Seattle Police Department officers, who filed a $5 million tort claim of damages against the city earlier this month.

The national search is already underway for the next permanent police chief. Harrell’s office told The Center Square that he “hopes to appoint [someone] by the end of the year.” Rahr and former Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole are joining in the process of identifying qualified candidates for consideration.

Harrell will appoint a public committee to review semi-finalists and recommend candidates for the city charter-required competitive examination.

A public committee appointed by the mayor will review the semi-finalists and recommend to the mayor which ones should be advanced for the charter-required competitive examination. Harrell will administer the examination and select a candidate to appoint, which will then be sent to city council for confirmation.

The Seattle Mayor’s Office told The Center Square that there will be a public engagement process, “but at this early stage of the search process it is not determined what that will look like.”