SEATTLE - The City of Seattle officially has a new interim police chief as of Wednesday, and on the first day, Adrian Diaz announcing some big moves.
Diaz says in the coming weeks, he plans to add 100 more officers to the patrol division.
These officers will be relocated from specialty units. That means many detectives, instead of investigating, are now going to be on the streets responding to 911 calls.
The news come on the heels of civil unrest playing out almost nightly as well as violent crime spiking in our area specifically shootings.
Richard Fuhr, a Seattle resident of more than 4 decades gained a special interest in crime trends after he tried to help solve one many years ago.
“A friend of mine was a crime victim and at that time detective work was very sparse, as a result, the suspect went to commit more burglaries, car thefts and street robberies,” Fuhr said.
He says he wants more patrol officers on the streets but not at the expense of specialty units staffed with detectives.
“These specialty units are no longer what we can afford,” Diaz said.
Diaz says there will be more patrol shifts added and less overtime for officers.
“There is more to this than having more cars on the streets or getting emergency calls faster one of my primary goals as chief is to reinvent what community engagement looks like,” Diaz said.
Mayor Durkan says violent crime is up, that public surveys show many in the community want more police presence.
“Officers don’t have the time they need to know the residents and businesses they serve, many times it’s because they are responding from calls to calls to calls,” Durkan said.
But in Fuhr’s perspective, the direction is going back to the past when resources were limited.
“We are not going to have the people to do the proper long term, hard work of investigating,” Fuhr said.
At first, Fuhr says he was hesitant to speak up about the issue because of the tense political climate.
“I think it’s important that people are not categorized as a far left or far right because there is a mix of perspectives, I support the police but I am not in support of the Trump administration.
He says he wants police reform but to him that means more training not less officers doing the work.
“This isn’t just an immediate concern, it’s a long term concern,” Fuhr said.
Q13 News is still waiting for information from SPD identifying the exact specialty units impacted.