Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will let his successor hire a new police chief, but he still might have a hand in the selection, the Seattle Times reports. Nickels was set to announce a 24-member search committee last month to identify three finalists to replace former Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, now the federal drug czar. When Nickels was ousted from the mayoral race in the Aug. 18 primary, he suspended the plan.
Nickels is now exploring ways to begin the search with the blessing of the two candidates in the Nov. 3 general election, Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn. Since Kerlikowske’s departure, the police department has been overseen by interim Chief John Diaz, a deputy chief who was chosen in March by Nickels. At the time of his appointment, Diaz said he intended to apply for the permanent job. One other name that has surfaced is Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. Her skills at community outreach and tackling tough disciplinary issues have attracted favorable attention since she took over that department in 2006.