Dick Reed, an assistant chief in the Seattle Police Department, has asked to take a voluntary demotion to captain in a highly unusual shake-up at the top ranks of the department, according to two sources familiar with the change.
The move comes shortly after a federal monitor handed the city a scathing draft report Nov. 15 on the progress of court-ordered police reforms, which highlighted significant lapses in data collection that occurred under Reed’s command.
As head of the Field Support Bureau, Reed’s duties included supervision of information technology.
Reed, 52, who joined the department in 1985, was granted his request to be returned to his previous job overseeing the 911 call center, the sources said.
Reed was promoted to captain in 2006 and served as director of the 911 center, where he led a staff of more than one hundred employees. He became an assistant chief in 2008.
It is rare for an assistant chief to take a reduction in rank.
Reed is to be replaced by Capt. Mike Washburn, 50, who joined the department in 1986. He will join five other assistant chiefs in the department brass.
Reed’s job as assistant chief was widely viewed by observers as being in jeopardy in the wake of the draft report from the federal monitor, Merrick Bobb, who cited errors and problems with data collection essential to the reform effort.
Bobb’s report also cited resistance among some in the Police Department’s top ranks to reforms, which were the subject of a settlement agreement last year between the city and the Department of Justice to curtail excessive force and biased policing. Bobb also faulted the Police Department over what he described as failures in reviews of shootings by officers.
Reed informed Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel of his decision last week, one source said.
Pugel initially made changes at the top ranks of the department after Mayor Mike McGinn named him as interim chief in April to replace retiring Police Chief John Diaz.
In that case, Pugel reduced deputy chiefs Clark Kimerer and Nick Metz to the rank of assistant chief in what was seen by some in and outside the department as a move to address concerns about the progress of reforms.