SEATTLE — Seattle’s police chief says she is stepping down, a transfer made public the identical day the Metropolis Council accredited decreasing the division by as many as 100 officers by way of layoffs and attrition.
Carmen Greatest, town’s first Black police chief, stated in a letter to the division that her retirement shall be efficient Sept. 2 and the mayor has appointed Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz because the interim chief, KING-TV reported Monday. Councilmembers had accredited the cuts Monday.
“I’m assured the division will make it by way of these tough instances,” Greatest stated within the letter. “You really are the very best police division within the nation, and please belief me after I say, the overwhelming majority of individuals in Seattle assist you and admire you. … I sit up for seeing how this division strikes ahead by way of the method of re-envisioning public security. I relish the work that shall be performed by all of you.”
In an e-mail to police Mayor Jenny Durkan stated she she accepted Greatest’s determination “with a really heavy coronary heart.”
“I remorse deeply that she concluded that the easiest way to serve town and assist the division was a change in management, within the hope that may change the dynamics to maneuver ahead with the Metropolis Council,” Durkan wrote.
Durkan and Greatest deliberate a Tuesday morning information convention.
The mayor picked Greatest in July of 2018 to steer the division. She had been serving as interim chief.
A army veteran, Greatest joined the division in 1992 and had labored in all kinds of roles, together with patrol, media relations, narcotics and operations and deputy chief.
Cuts to the division have been supported by demonstrators who’ve marched within the metropolis following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis however strongly opposed by Durkan and Greatest.
Measures that may minimize lower than $four million of the division’s $400 million annual price range this 12 months handed out of committee unanimously final week. On Monday, solely council member Kshama Sawant voted in opposition to the price range bundle, saying it doesn’t do sufficient to defund the police.
Seattle at present has about 1,400 cops and the reductions fell far wanting the 50% minimize to the division that many Black Lives Matter protesters are looking for. A number of council members on Monday stated the modifications had been a place to begin in an extended course of to reimagine policing and public security.
The Metropolis Council additionally minimize Greatest’s roughly $285,000 annual wage and the pay of different high police leaders, though the ultimate cuts to Greatest’s wage had been considerably extra modest than these accredited final week. The council plan additionally takes officers off a crew that removes homeless camps.
“Whereas we will’t do every little thing on this summer time rebalancing bundle, now we have set the trail ahead for super work in entrance of us as a council and as a metropolis,” Council member Teresa Mosqueda stated.
Durkan and Greatest had urged the council to decelerate its discussions about police budgets, saying the difficulty might be taken up in earnest when the 2021 metropolis price range is taken into account. Additionally they stated any layoffs would disproportionately goal newer officers, usually employed from Black and brown communities, and would inevitably result in lawsuits.
Durkan has proposed chopping about $20 million from the police price range this 12 months largely due to lowered revenues amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Final month, the mayor sketched out a plan to cut back the police price range by about $75 million subsequent 12 months by transferring parking enforcement officers, the 911 name heart and different areas out of the division.
“It’s unlucky Council has refused to have interaction in a collaborative course of to work with the mayor, Chief Greatest, and group members to develop a price range and insurance policies that reply to group wants whereas accounting for — not simply acknowledging — the numerous labor and authorized implications concerned in reworking the Seattle Police Division,” Durkan stated in a press release after the vote.