Lake Stevens continues police chief search

The city of Lake Stevens still is searching for a new police chief.

City officials didn’t make a hiring decision after the first round of applications and interviews earlier this year.

They’re advertising the position again until the end of this week, City Administrator Jan Berg said.

The city has been without a permanent chief since Randy Celori quietly left last fall. His departure came amid a series of troubles at the department that city leaders attributed to growing pains and discipline concerns.

Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen has been serving as interim chief.

Lake Stevens, now the fifth largest city in Snohomish County, again was thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks after the killings of two young women in June. The police department assigned its detectives to partner with the sheriff’s office on those investigations. Suspects are in custody in both cases, which were unrelated.

They were the first homicides in the usually-quiet city in recent memory.

About 20 people applied for the chief’s job earlier this year. A number of local police leaders had expressed interest in the post, which pays up to $121,500.

The previous public job posting said the city was seeking a candidate who could “set a policing tone that is firm, fair and friendly and is underpinned with visible and open communication.”

Also desired was experience with community outreach and modern crime-prevention techniques.

The police department in 2012 had 28 employees, including 24 commissioned officers. Its budget was $4.9 million.

In 2012, rumors flew around that Lake Stevens was being courted as a potential contract city for the sheriff’s office, a direction Snohomish took the year before. The City Council in Lake Stevens sought information about a contract but ultimately decided against one.

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