By Rikki King Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — The search for a new Lake Stevens police chief likely will take a few months.
“It’s going to take time because we want to make sure we do it right,” City Administrator Jan Berg said last week.
The city hasn’t recruited a police chief in more than a decade. Since then, the population in Lake Stevens has roughly tripled. The police department has grown, too. It has faced a series of headaches in recent months over allegations of bad behavior involving two officers.
The last chief resigned in November for reasons not made public.
At almost 29,000 people, Lake Stevens is the fifth largest city in Snohomish County. The job for its top cop, once posted, likely will draw candidates from around the region.
City officials have been working with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs on the search, Berg said. They’re finishing up the recruitment materials.
Once the job is posted, they’ll probably accept applications for about a month, she said.
Then they’ll narrow down the applicants to a few finalists and host a public forum, Berg said. That will give people in town, business leaders and the police guild a chance to meet the candidates and offer input.
The last similar-sized police chief search in Snohomish County started in Mukilteo in late 2010. It took about four months before Rex Caldwell was sworn in as chief.
The previous Lake Stevens police chief was paid $121,512 a year. The police department in 2012 had 28 employees, including 24 commissioned officers. Its budget was $4.9 million.
Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen is serving as interim chief.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org