“He had a quiet leadership style that can be both very effective and ineffective,” Councilmember Bruce Harrell said this morning.
SEATTLE — Seattle Police Chief John Diaz is stepping down as his department faces a court order to address issues involving use of excessive force by officers.
The disclosure came Monday after difficult negotiations led the Police Department to enter a court agreement with the federal Justice Department last summer to address concerns that officers were too quick to use force.
Diaz has been criticized for his leadership style.
City Councilman Tim Burgess, who is running for mayor, said Diaz was too slow to adopt new strategies for preventing crime and to embrace the changes sought by the federal agency.
Burgess had said he would fire Diaz if elected.
Diaz is a 33-year veteran and the department's first minority chief.
“This has been a profession that I truly believe in,” he said during a news conference. His retirement goes into in effect in May.
Assistant Chief Jim Pugel will be named interim chief, according to Diaz.