Another Mill Creek police chief steps down

Jeffery Young was the city’s third chief in two years. The city manager who appointed him resigned recently, too.

Jeff Young

Jeff Young

MILL CREEK — Mill Creek police chief Jeffery Young has resigned, the city announced Friday.

Young was appointed chief in December 2020 by former Mill Creek city manager Michael Ciaravino, who also resigned, last month.

The chief, a longtime veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, served in the role for almost exactly a year. The reason for his departure was not explained in the public announcement Friday.

The city plans to appoint detective Sgt. Stan White as acting chief beginning Dec. 31, until a full-time replacement can be hired.

“While this will be a time of transition for our Police Department, rest assured that public safety remains a top priority for the city, and we will work to ensure that this transition is a smooth one,” read a statement from the City of Mill Creek.

Young succeeded acting police chief Scott Eastman, who was laid off in October 2020 due to budget cuts.

The preceding police chief, Greg Elwin, parted ways with Mill Creek a few months earlier, when a city investigation found he had engaged in unbecoming conduct: He let his daughter stay at his home at a time when she was considered a fugitive, and he failed to report a “critical workplace safety issue” when a city employee reportedly said it would be a good thing “if the city blew up.”

Earlier this year, the Mill Creek Police Officers’ Guild sent a letter to the city council, pleading for support. A staffing shortage had left the department in “dire” shape, according to the letter, causing officers to work long hours and overtime. The shortage was caused by “neglect and mismanagement” by city officials, guild leaders argued.

Councilman Vincent Cavaleri announced in October in a Facebook post that Mill Creek “will not be mandating a vaccine to anyone of our personnel.” The councilman told The Daily Herald the announcement increased applications for law enforcement positions.

Asked if he finds it problematic for law enforcement to be unvaccinated, Cavaleri said Friday, “I’ll leave that for the experts to decide. I think it’s more dangerous to keep a police department unmanned.”

Cavaleri said he and other council members were “taken aback” by Young’s resignation.

“We have been working diligently to replenish the ranks,” Cavaleri said, adding that the guild’s letter shined a light on an issue the council wasn’t aware of.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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