Today, Assistant Chief Mike Sanford, who heads the Seattle Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau, gave Interim Chief Harry Bailey notice of his intent to retire from the department. In an e-mail dated this afternoon, he writes:
I wish to inform you of my intent to retire from the Seattle Police Department effective march 31, 2014. I have asked Captain Chris Fowler to be the Acting Assistant Chief over the Professional Responsibility Bureau during my absence. I will be utilizing leave to take care of personal matters between now and that date. It has been an incredible honor to be a Seattle Police Officer for the past almost thirty years. I will work through Captain Nolan to file the appropriate paperwork. I wish you the very best as our new Chief.
This isn't surprising, but it is significant.
When Mayor Ed Murray announced last Wednesday that he was bringing in longtime SPD veteran Bailey as the new interim police chief to replace Jim Pugel, a lot of the questions in the room were about rumors. In particular, rumors that Assistant Chiefs Clark Kimerer and Mike Sanford are on their way out the door. Neither the mayor nor Chief Bailey would answer those questions.
After a report from the federal police monitor Merrick Bobb in November that specifically called out SPD's senior command staff as part of the resistance to reform, then-chief Pugel immediately demoted two assistant chiefs. If Bailey was brought in to continue to clean house, it sure looks like it's working.