Ex-Sonic's security director is new SPD interim police chief

Earlier this morning at City Hall, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he is replacing Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel with Harry C. Bailey.

Bailey is a former assistant Seattle police chief who retired in 2007. He had a reputation of keeping intimate ties with the community.

69-year-old Bailey has served 35 years in the Seattle Police Department, and most recently worked for former Mayor McGinn as a consultant on community relations in lieu of the Justice Department finding officers had engaged in incidents of unnecessary force.

Bailey also worked as director of security for the Seattle Sonics, Oklahoma Thunder, and Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Murray also said he will be putting together a 12-member committee and a search firm to help decide on a new chief, Murray hopes to decide on the new chief by April.

Murray explained his new chief pick would be someone with the character to restore the morale of the police department, as well as community’s respect.

Pugel, will return to the rank of assistant chief.

Murray said the assignment is not a reflection on Pugel and that Pugel is welcome to apply for the job of permanent chief, which Pugel has said in the past he would.

Pugel was acting as interim police chief in 2011 by then Mayor McGinn to replace Police Chief John Diaz who retired.

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