Seattle’s chief of police demotes 4 top cops

Mar 10, 2015, 6:45 AM | Updated: 6:47 am
President of the Seattle Police Management Association Mark Edwards hopes the new assistant chiefs will be selected from a pool of candidates within the Seattle Police Department. (MyNorthwest.com Photo/File)
(MyNorthwest.com Photo/File)

Seattle’s chief of police has demoted all four of her assistant chiefs to make way for new leadership in the department.

The change means Tag Gleason, Mike Washburn, Robin Clark, and Paul McDonagh are no longer Seattle Police captains.

“It’s been long-coming,” explained Mark Edwards, President of the Seattle Police Management Association. “We’ve known that there was going to be a change in the leadership. So it’s not unexpected by any means.”

According to Edwards the decision to demote the four officers wasn’t based on performance. The decision made by Chief Kathleen O’Toole came from a desire to shake up top leadership positions.

Edwards hopes the new assistant chiefs will be selected from a pool of candidates within the Seattle Police Department.

“We think that within the police department itself and at our level we have a lot of great talent. We have very experienced, knowledgeable people,” said Edwards.

The command staff overhaul is O’Toole’s most significant personnel move since she became chief in June. Announcement of a new leadership team is expected Wednesday.

Currently, Clark oversees detectives and investigations; McDonagh is in charge of Special Operations, which includes homeland security; Gleason handles federally mandated reforms and Washburn oversees the Field Support Bureau.

Former Assistant Chief Nick Metz, who oversaw patrol operations, recently left to become the police chief in Aurora, Colorado.

Deputy Chief Carmen Best will remain in that position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Seattle’s chief of police demotes 4 top cops