Sue Rahr appointed as interim Seattle police chief; Adrian Diaz out

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced on Wednesday that Sue Rahr will serve as the interim police chief for the city's police department.

Rahr is an American law enforcement officer who served as the sheriff of King County, Washington from 2005 to 2012.

She began her law enforcement career as a deputy with the King County Sherriff’s Office in 1979, and worked her way up through the ranks. In 2005, she was elected to sheriff and served for another seven years, retiring in 2012.

Sue Rahr

"Sue Rahr is uniquely qualified right now," Harrell said. "She'lll be an outstanding leader for our police department, focused on strengthening recruitment, advancing institutional culture change and most importantly working to create safety for all of our neighbors."

On Wednesday, Adrian Diaz was dismissed from his position as Seattle Police chief. His departure comes after a growing number of legal claims against him and the department

(File / FOX 13)

"Diaz should be commended by putting the needs of the city first," Harrell said during Wednesday's news conference. "He has agreed to work on special projects and realized that the kind of cultural change that we want, can be best served by him stepping aside."

Diaz had led the department since September 2020, taking over as interim chief for Carmen Best. Two years later, Harrell named Diaz as chief.  He has been with the agency since 1997.

FOX 13 Seattle spoke with a law enforcement expert who said Seattle does not have a good name for itself within the national policing community.

"You want to go somewhere where you’re wanted, where you’re accepted, where you’re appreciated, where the mayor and council, as well as the community, has your back. You know, Washington state and specifically Seattle does not have that reputation,"said Brian Higgins.


TIMELINE: Seattle has had 7 police chiefs since 2000

Seattle hasn't been able to keep a police chief for longer than a few years. The most recent chief not to resign in a storm of controversy is Kathleen O'Toole, who stepped down in 2017.

Higgins is a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a retired police chief for Bergen County New Jersey.

He says with Seattle’s track record, it might be difficult to find a good permanent replacement for chief.

"I’m seeing this trend now of celebrity police chiefs, right. They work at a place for 18 -24 months. They have a resume of eight or ten police departments they’ve worked at. I don’t know how much they’re changing, how much they’re influencing a police department," Higgins said.


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