LAKE STEVENS — After nearly 40 years in law enforcement — the final five of those with Lake Stevens — Chief John Dyer passed the baton to Deputy Chief Jeff Beazizo on Aug. 18.
“Lake Stevens has been the best part of my career by far,” Dyer wrote in a Facebook post. “Though not without challenges, the men and women of the LSPD, and the community has made this an (incredible) place to live and work.”
Dyer was hired right around the time City Administrator Gene Brazel started at the city.
“He was just a great person to work with and a big mentor of mine,” Brazel said. “I’ll definitely miss him.”
During his tenure as chief, Dyer almost always had a smile on his face, Brazel said.
Something many will remember him for, according to Lake Stevens City Council President Kim Daughtry, is his support and assistance in protecting those peacefully protesting following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“It feels really good to know that they’re not against us at all,” Raigan Reed, one of the organizers of a June 4, 2020 protest told The Daily Herald during the event. “They’re not trying to get in the way of anything. They’re just here to make sure we’re protected.”
Daughtry said he believes Dyer was also responsible for restoring the department’s credibility after they had sunken to “the worst in the county.”
While leading the department, Dyer fostered relationships in the community through his involvement with organizations including the Lake Stevens Rotary and Snohomish 911.
Dyer helped the department receive state accreditation in 2020.
But after almost 38 years, the time came to call it a career.
“The chief had let us know he was looking to retire, he was building a new home up north and once that was complete he was going to turn the torch over to somebody,” Brazel said.
The city began working on a succession plan about a year ago, which led to the creation of the deputy chief position for Beazizo, Brazel said.
Dyer recommended Beazizo for the top job.
Beazizo has been with the department since 2017, and proved over the last few months as deputy chief that he is capable of leading, Brazel said.
“Chief Dyer was… a very good mentor, I respect him highly,” Beazizo said. “And I just want to continue what he built on that foundation.”
Some of Dyer’s initiatives that Beazizo said he hopes to build from are maintaining accreditation, strengthening community engagement and education, and holding officers to a high standard in regard to de-escalation, crisis intervention and leadership training.
Beazizo plans to help the department launch a Citizen’s Academy in 2022. The courses will teach the community about the duties and goals of each division.
The academy will play a role in bolstering community-police relations, providing emergency management education, and recruiting volunteers, Beazizo said.
By 2022, the department is also slated to implement its digital evidence program, including the use of body-worn cameras, and collection of footage from residents’ Ring cameras.
Prior to joining the department, Beazizo spent 25 years with Washington State Patrol, serving in leadership capacities as a lieutenant in Snohomish County and an assistant commander for the agency’s Rapid Deployment Force. He later served as the Safety/Risk Management Officer with the Monroe School District and is currently working toward his bachelor’s of science in organizational leadership at the University of Charleston.
Beazizo, who has lived in Lake Stevens for over two decades, said he feels honored to serve the community.
“The thing about Jeff is everyone knows him, he’s a very community-oriented person,” Brazel said. “He’s been successful everywhere he’s gone.”
Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BredaIsabella.