Public safety committee approves Diaz as Seattle Police Chief, vote now moves to City Council

Seattle’s public safety committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Adrian Diaz’s appointment as City Police Chief.

Diaz has served as Seattle’s interim police chief since Sep. 2020. On Sep. 22, 2022, Mayor Bruce Harrell officially appointed Diaz as police chief, but approval is up to the city council.

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.

In a public forum last week, the finalists fielded questions about alternatives to police response, culture within the department and violence in the city.

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Diaz indicated support for increased policing alternatives and reform within the department, but he spoke more about his previous experience than about new ideas.

The council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee approved Diaz 5-0, and the City Council will vote on the appointment Jan. 3, 2023.