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SEATTLE -- A potential shake up of the top brass at the Seattle Police Department is in the works.

The Seattle City Council is considering a charter change that would allow the hiring of command staff from outside the department.

We all know that change begins at the top, said Seattle City Council Member Bruce Harrell, who introduced the amendment along with Council Member Tim Burgess.

Under current law, the police command staff can only be appointed from within the department.

The City Council change will allow a new chief to bring in his or her own management team.

I think it sends a bad message to the rank and file. said Sgt. Rich O'Neil, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. A new chief could bring in five or six of their own assistant chiefs that would put a crushing blow on promotions.

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