Mayor Bruce Harrell appointed Interim Chief Adrian Diaz as Seattle’s new Police Chief. Selected from the list of three final candidates, Chief Diaz has filled the Interim Chief role since Chief Carmen Best’s retirement in 2020. The final step is a confirmation vote by the City Council.
In making the announcement, Mayor Harrell cited the chemistry he has with Chief Diaz, recalling the experience of the two of them meeting the young daughter of a Somali man who was shot to death downtown on September 11.
“It’s what I call chemistry, and it’s something you can’t teach and you can’t fake, and it’s right here,” Harrell said, touching his chest. “I think Chief Diaz has that right here. He’s a person I’ve known since he was a sergeant working in the community, a person who will make bold decisions – unpopular decisions – but the right thing to do. A person I know who when he looked at this little Somali daughter’s face, I know it hit him as hard as it hit me, that our job is to protect her father.” — The Seattle Times, September 20, 2022.
In his remarks, Chief Diaz committed to focus on reducing violent crime, eliminating the staffing shortfall at SPD, and improving morale in the department. He first joined SPD in 1997 and has worked in numerous roles before being named an Assistant Chief in 2017.
WR commends Mayor Harrell for appointing Chief Diaz, who has demonstrated his commitment to learning about and addressing Seattle retailers’ concerns. Chief Diaz has met with the WR board twice over the past several years to hear firsthand about the public safety and organized retail crime problems confronting our members in Seattle.
WR President & CEO of Washington Retail, Renée Sunde, praised Mayor Harrell’s choice, saying, “This appointment is well-deserved. Chief Diaz has proven his commitment to addressing the issues that matter most to retailers and residents of Seattle. We look forward to continuing to work closely with him on these issues.”