Constantine appoints Diaz to direct King County jail system

Former Seattle Police chief

  • Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:01pm
  • News
John Diaz/Courtesy Photo, King County

John Diaz/Courtesy Photo, King County

King County Executive Constantine has appointed former Seattle Police Chief John Diaz to serve as Director of the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. Diaz has served as interim director since April.

“I have been impressed with the leadership, strategic thinking, and stability that John has brought to the department,” Constantine said in a news release. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to make this department a national model for innovation and reform.”

The Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention has approximately 1,000 employees across five divisions: King County Correctional Facility in Seattle, Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Juvenile Detention, Administration and Community Corrections.

There are more than 40,000 annual bookings through the system; 70 percent of the adult population is released within 72 hours. Inmate services include libraries, education, health care, stress management, and psychiatric and medical services.

Diaz was Seattle Police chief from 2010-2013, beginning his career at the Seattle Police Department as a patrol officer in 1980 and holding many leadership positions before being named Chief of Police. Diaz was Deputy Chief of Administration, then Deputy Chief of Operations, for nearly 10 years, where he oversaw administration of the department, including management of 1,900 employees and a $250 million dollar budget.

During his tenure, Diaz was the lead in the Joint Labor Management Committee with the Seattle Police Officers Guild and represented the Department in labor negotiations. He helped achieve agreements on grievances and resolutions with the eight different labor unions that represent members of the Seattle Police Department.

“I look forward to building on the important reforms that have been made in recent years, and the work I began four months ago to ensure this department continues to be responsive to the needs of the people in our care and the communities we serve,” Diaz said.

Diaz’s appointment is subject to approval by the King County Council.

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