SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has named Adrian Diaz as the city’s new police chief.
Harrell on Tuesday announced his intent to appoint Diaz, who has served as interim police chief since September 2020.
Harrell had encouraged Diaz to apply for the permanent role and chose him after a committee appointed by the mayor identified Diaz, Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Eric Greening and Tucson Police Assistant Chief Kevin Hall as finalists for the position, The Seattle Times reported.
The Seattle City Council must confirm Harrell’s selection.
In a public forum last week, the finalists fielded questions about alternatives to police response, culture within the department and violence in the city. Diaz indicated support for increased policing alternatives and reform within the department, but he spoke more about his previous experience than about new ideas.
Diaz has also worked in the Seattle Police Department’s patrol and investigations units, among other assignments, since joining the agency in 1997.
Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best resigned in August 2020 after a tumultuous summer of racial justice protests in Seattle and nationally, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Best, Seattle’s first Black police chief, said at the time that she quit in protest of efforts to decrease police spending.
City Council members and residents had criticized Best for the department’s response — which at times included tear gas, pepper spray and other less lethal weapons — to the protests against police brutality prompted by Floyd’s killing.