Seattle Police Chief resigns 

Jun 25, 2024
Written by WR Communications

After four years on the job (including two as acting Chief), Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz has resigned as chief, replaced on a temporary basis by Sue Rahr, former King County Sheriff and Director of the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission, the state’s police academy.  

“I’ve accomplished so much in the four years as chief, but there’s more to be done,” said an emotional Diaz, as he fought back tears at the press conference. Diaz will remain with the department, working on special assignments, according to Mayor Bruce Harrell. Diaz became the ninth person to leave the chief’s job since 2000. 

Chief Diaz led the Seattle Police Department (SPD) through an extraordinarily difficult period. After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, a majority on the Seattle City Council expressed a desire to reduce the budget for the police department by 50%. That commitment to slash police spending led Chief Carmen Best to resign, leading to Diaz’s ascension to chief. 

While the Council never took meaningful action to cut the police budget, the department saw its number of uniformed officers plunge from 1,400 in early 2020 to under 1,000 today, despite efforts by Diaz and Mayor Bruce Harrell to reverse the decline. While the number of police officers fell, concerns about public safety have increased. 

During his final months as chief, Diaz and the SPD were the subjects of several lawsuits alleging racial and sexual discrimination and harassment. 

Acting Chief Rahr and former SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who left the department in 2017, will lead the search for a new chief. Unlike past searches, the City will not hire an outside firm to oversee the search process. 


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