Assistant Seattle police chief Sanford retires

Days after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray named a new interim police chief, a member of the department's command staff has decided to retire.

In an email to Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey Monday afternoon, Assistant Chief Mike Sanford said his last day with the department will be March 31.

"I will be utilizing leave to take care of personal matters between now and that date," Sanford wrote in the email, which was obtained by KIRO Radio. "It has been an incredible honor to be a Seattle Police Officer for the past almost thirty years."

Sanford wrote that he has asked Capt. Chris Fowler to serve as acting assistant police chief of the Professional Standards Bureau in his absence.

While Sanford did not give a reason for his decision, rumors had been circulating within the department that he would be removed from the command staff under Bailey, who was brought it to replace former Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel during the search for a permanent chief of police.

At a press conference last week, KIRO Radio asked Mayor Ed Murray about speculation that both Sanford and Assistant Chief Clark Kimerer would be taken off the command staff. Murray said no such decisions had been made.

Sanford joined the Seattle Police Department in 1984. His first assignment was as a patrol officer in the East Precinct.

Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
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