Port Townsend police chief hopefuls to meet public

Questions may be submitted until Thursday

PORT TOWNSEND — Local residents have a chance to talk with the four candidates for the job of Port Townsend Police Department chief — via Zoom — from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.

To connect, go to: zoom.us/join and use meeting ID 873 9989 5646 and passcode 579524.

Members of the public who can’t make it to the online meeting are encouraged to send their questions and discussion topics to the city by this Thursday to [email protected]

This will be a meet-and-greet, City Manager John Mauro said during Monday night’s City Council business meeting. Viewers will be able to converse with each of the candidates in various “breakout rooms,” he added, and then fill out a survey of their opinions of each hopeful.

The four applicants’ names won’t be announced until the end of this week, after they’ve had a chance to inform their current employers of their candidacy, said Robin Hake, the city’s human resources manager.

Interim Port Townsend Police Chief Troy Surber, who stepped in last March when longtime chief Michael Evans retired, said he is not in the running for the permanent job.

At 58, Surber plans to retire next year.

He added he’s been involved in the candidate interviews leading up to Monday’s forum.

“That one will be very interesting,” Surber said of the Zoom meeting.

When asked what the top issues are for the incoming chief, Surber said he’s looking for a leader who’s fully capable of implementing former President Barack Obama’s 21st century policing pillars.

Those are: building trust and legitimacy; policy and oversight; using technology and social media; community policing and crime reduction; training and education; and officer wellness and safety.

Mauro added that the surveys available during the forum will help him make the final hiring decision.

“I’m going to read all of them,” he said.


Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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