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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM

If elected mayor, Burgess would fire Seattle police chief

Seattle City Councilman and mayoral candidate Tim Burgess says he’ll replace Police Chief John Diaz if he’s elected mayor.

In a campaign release, Burgess criticized Mayor Mike McGinn and the chief for “being too slow in implementing new strategies for preventing crime, and too slow in embracing the changes sought by the Department of Justice” to address issues of excessive force and evidence of biased policing.

“We must restore trust by following a clear reform plan and replacing top leadership in the department,” said Burgess, himself a former Seattle police officer and detective.

Burgess included the call for a new chief in a release outlining other plans he has to improve public safety and the department, including concentrating officers in areas where crime occurs.

Responding to Burgess’s comments, John Wyble, campaign consultant for Re-Elect Mike McGinn For Mayor, said: “The Tim Burgess press release today is not about having a thoughtful discussion. It was timed to score cheap political points. We need to work together on reform not play politics with public safety.”

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