Mike Hill, current Sequim deputy police chief, will start March 1 as police chief following the retirement of Sheri Crain. He started full-time on the force in 2001. (City of Sequim)

Mike Hill, current Sequim deputy police chief, will start March 1 as police chief following the retirement of Sheri Crain. He started full-time on the force in 2001. (City of Sequim)

Hill named chief of police in Sequim

Shari Crain expected to retire on March 1

SEQUIM — A change of local first responder leadership appears to be in the air in Sequim.

The City of Sequim announced on Thursday that Deputy Police Chief Mike Hill will succeed retiring Police Chief Sheri Crain effective March 1.

He’ll start the same day as new Fire Chief Justin Grider for Clallam County Fire District 3, who was hired in January.

City Manager Matthew Huish said via press release that, while searching for a new police chief, staff consulted the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs as well as local law enforcement and first responder and community leadership.

“Mike’s exceptional qualifications, dedication to public service and deep-rooted connection to our community qualified him as the ideal candidate,” Huish said.

“His innovative approach to community policing, strategic planning skills and focus on technology have significantly contributed to our police department’s success.”

Crain has mentioned her retirement and succession planning for the department in recent years.

She said Hill has worked his way through steadily more challenging work assignments since he started in Sequim.

“Mike has demonstrated his deep commitment to this community and our police department,” Crain said.

“His professionalism and commitment to excellence will be his hallmark as he leads the department.

“I am proud to have witnessed his career growth and look forward to seeing the future achievements of the department under his leadership.”

Crain and Hill were unavailable for immediate comment.

More about Hill

Hill joined the Sequim Police Department in 1998 as a reserve police officer and was hired full-time in August 2001.

In his tenure, he’s served as a field training officer, a K-9 officer for about a decade, a firearms instructor and a defensive tactics instructor.

He has worked as a patrol officer, patrol sergeant (2013-18) and detective sergeant before being promoted to deputy chief in April 2021.

Hill earned a degree in Criminal Justice and continues to pursue another degree in Criminology. He graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy in 2023 with various accolades.

In an interview about being appointed deputy chief, Hill said he likes Sequim and, once hired initially, he didn’t have plans to move.

“I’m happy to keep working for Sequim as far into the future as I can,” he said.

Hill is a third-generation Port Angeles resident, with family in Port Angeles and in Sequim. He met his partner, Kori Malone, a detective sergeant for the Port Angeles Police Department, while in Sequim, he said.

More about Crain

Crain has served as Sequim police chief since December 2016. She was hired after the retirement of Bill Dickinson and served as his deputy police chief starting in 2013.

Crain started with the Sequim Police Department on Feb. 26, 1991, and she carried several positions through her tenure and also completed the 10-week FBI Academy in 2013.

She moved here with her husband in 1989, working some odd jobs before she was hired at the Sequim Police Department.

Crain said her plan was always to pursue a career in justice because she “always had a strong feeling of right and wrong from an early age.”

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at matthew.nash@sequimgazette.com.

Sequim deputy police chief Mike Hill will take over as chief for retiring police chief Sheri Crain on March 1. Here they stand together to show bricks they earned at the FBI National Academy with Hill graduating in 2023 and Crain in 2013. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim deputy police chief Mike Hill will take over as chief for retiring police chief Sheri Crain on March 1. Here they stand together to show bricks they earned at the FBI National Academy with Hill graduating in 2023 and Crain in 2013. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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