Arlington’s new police chief starts soon

ARLINGTON — Police Chief Robert Sullenberger leaves his post Friday and Arlington’s new chief, Nelson Beazley, takes the helm Monday.

Beazley was the other top finalist when the city hired Sullenberger in early 2009, spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said.

After just 17 months on the job, Sullenberger resigned his post because of family matters. He plans to return to Boulder County, Colo., where he is the new division chief in the county sheriff’s office. Before coming to Arlington, Sullenberger was a Boulder deputy chief of police.

The city spent $18,000 on its personnel search for Sullenberger. Prothman, the Seattle headhunter company that found Sullenberger, had kept in touch with Beazley and connected him with the city at no extra charge, Banfield said. Beazley and his wife, Arlene, relocated to Washington state from Fresno, Calif., after their two grown children moved to the Seattle area.

Beazley has more than 32 years of law enforcement experience, all with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. He graduated from California State University at Fresno in 1977 with a degree in criminology and law enforcement. He is a 2006 graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“When Sully was hired, it really was a toss-up between him and Nelson,” Banfield said. “We discovered very quickly that he was still available.”

City officials originally thought it might take three or four months to hire a new police chief, she said.

Beazley’s employment contract with the city was approved last week.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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