SPD: New Leader for South Precinct (…again)

The Rainier Valley Post has the details of more Seattle Police Department changes for South Seattle.  The title of the RVP‘s post spells it out pretty clearly: “SPDs South Precinct Gets 7th New Leader in 5 Years.” In light of the recent uptick in Rainier Valley violence over the past few weeks, the RVP’s article is definitely worth reading:

The game of musical chairs continues at SPD’s South Precinct where Captain John Hayes, the sixth precinct commander in five years, is out after just six months.SeattlePoliceDepartment-281x300

According to SPD, Hayes is headed to the Compliance Bureau, while South Precinct Operations Lieutenant Steve Strand will fill-in as acting captain of the South Precinct. There has been no word of a permanent, long-term replacement.

Last fall, Captain Hayes replaced Captain Carmen Best after her brief, two-month stay on the job.

Prior to that, Captain Steve Paulsen led the precinct for just 10 months before being promoted to oversee Violent Crimes.

“I was expecting to stay for quite a bit longer,” wrote Paulsen in 2013. “This move was completely unexpected for me.”

Before that, Captain Mike Nolan ran the precinct for two years before being bumped back to Traffic where he’d been prior to running the precinct.

At that time, the RVP contacted SPD by telephone and email to learn more about the reasons for the transfer that came less than one year after SPDasked for the public’s help in fighting a “sharp rise in violent crime,” but we never received a response.

Prior to Captain Nolan’s tenure, Captain Dave Emerick spent about a year at the South Precinct after replacing Captain Les Liggins, who had taken over for Captain Tom Byers in 2006.

The chronic instability in leadership at the South Precinct, which has seenalmost daily drive-by shootings for the last two weeks, seems counter-intuitive, but Chief Harry Bailey says change is good…

Click here to read the whole piece (which includes some outraged community response).

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