By Eric Stevick and Rikki King Herald Writers
EVERETT — There’s a wistfulness in Dan Templeman’s voice when he thinks back to 1992.
That was the spring he graduated from college in criminology, the summer he worked at a city golf course and the fall he hired on with the Everett Police Department.
His first assignment was on patrol, the graveyard shift in the Riverside neighborhood.
Back then, he didn’t know who was on the City Council.
His beat stretched from Broadway to the Snohomish River north of Pacific Avenue. It was an exciting place. The rookie grew close to his fellow officers, took a variety of calls and worked with neighborhood leaders on hot spots and chronic nuisances.
“If I ended up on patrol tomorrow, I would love it,” he said.
That’s not going to happen. Templeman, 44, has taken the reins as chief of the department and is now responsible for a $31.8 million annual budget. He was sworn in last week to oversee 248 employees, including 201 uniformed officers. His annual salary is $149,292.
Templeman replaced Kathy Atwood, who retired as chief June 19. He became the 37th chief in the city’s 111-year history. “I had hoped all along he would be my successor and was thrilled that the mayor supported that and he got appointed,” Atwood said. “He is an amazing worker, and he is just very balanced and fair and together with the deputy chiefs they are just a wonderful team.”
Templeman climbed the ranks quickly over 22 years. After patrol, he became a detective, learning the math and science of reconstructing car crashes. He’s been a patrol and administrative sergeant, a lieutenant overseeing patrol and later the special investigations unit, a captain of the investigations unit, and, most recently, a deputy chief. Along the way, he was commander for a countywide task force that investigates officer-involved shootings.
Despite the quick ascent, Templeman says he didn’t set out to be police chief and that he’d be plenty content back on the road.
He said he still enjoys his chosen profession for many reasons: the chance to help people, problem-solve and make order out of disorder. In pursuing the bad, he has seen lots of good.
“You can never lose sight of the good in people,” he said.
At the same time, social issues, such as homelessness and mental illness, offer no easy solutions but have a major impact on the police.
Templeman considers himself fortunate. With each position, he was surrounded by experienced supervisors and veteran detectives.
Templeman, the son of an Everett attorney, grew up in Lake Stevens.
It was at Lake Stevens High School, where he was co-editor of the student Valhalla newspaper, that Templeman became interested in police work. He began riding along with state troopers and county deputies while writing about the impact of drunken driving.
Dan Lorentzen, interim Lake Stevens police chief, attended high school with Templeman.
“The great thing about Danny is he is very methodical,” Lorentzen said. “He likes to have really good discussions. He’s very open and engaging with people. He’s quiet. He likes to take in the information and think about the steps. He doesn’t rush to judgment.”
Everett has always seemed like an ideal-sized place to work, a department large enough to learn new skills but small enough to know everyone by name, Templeman said. He also liked the idea of getting to work close to where he grew up.
Templeman served under three police chiefs: Mike Campbell, Jim Scharf and Atwood.
He learned from them the importance of paying attention to details and working with the community, as well as the need to hold people accountable and make tough decisions.
He said he is a “numbers-driven” leader who’ll look to the department’s two crime analysts to provide information to guide resources. He said he is open-minded to pooling resources with other agencies, as Everett police and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office recently did in reorganizing SWAT operations, but he doesn’t see anything new on the horizon.
Templeman said he wants to make his expectations clear and be visible in the community.
“I really think as police chief it is important to be out there,” he said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.