During his first day on the job, interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel has eliminated the rank of deputy chief and restructured the department’s command staff, KIRO Radio has learned.
In an email sent late Monday morning, Pugel told those affected that the move was in an effort to “better account for the performance of the department by reducing the amount of layers.”
He wrote that the new structure reflects “the command structure of most police agencies around the nation.”
The move means that former deputy chiefs Nick Metz and Clark Kimerer will become assistant chiefs. Pugel insisted that the change was not a demotion for Metz and Kimerer, who will maintain their current pay.
Several assignments will also change.
Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh will now be responsible for patrol operations. He previously commanded the Special Operations Bureau.
Metz will now be responsible for criminal investigations, the post formerly held by Pugel.
“All other assistant chief and civilian directors will remain the same,” Pugel wrote in the email, which was obtained by KIRO Radio. “There will be an opening for an acting assistant chief in Special Operations and the decision there will be made within the next few weeks.”