THE PEOPLE LEFT BEHIND THE CHIEF: In front is retiring chief John Diaz. Behind him from left to right are police union president Rich O'Neill, Deputy Chief Nick Metz, police disciplinarian Kathryn Olson, new interim chief Jim Pugel, and Mayor Mike McGinn.
Dominic Holden (SLOG):
A lot will be made of Seattle police chief John Diaz leaving just as the mayor's race heats up. For his part, Diaz nervously scratched his upper arm this afternoon as he told reporters that he's retiring, not because he's an albatross in the mayor's reelection campaign, but because "this is the time to go." Despite a notoriously bumpy three years, he's helped cast a reforms in a court settlement, seen through innovations for handling nonviolent crimes, and helped hush the city's crime rate to a 55-year low. "I don't leave from a fight," he said. But when Diaz steps down in the next 45 days, he will leave behind a leadership vacuum much larger than his position—a vacuum that he helped created while was in the job—but one that was particularly evident by looking at the people standing right behind him. MORE...
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