Troy Surber, who has served with the Port Townsend Police Department since 1997, was named interim chief Monday, March 2, 2020. He steps into the role following former chief Michael Evans’ retirement. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Troy Surber, who has served with the Port Townsend Police Department since 1997, was named interim chief Monday, March 2, 2020. He steps into the role following former chief Michael Evans’ retirement. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Sergeant promoted to interim Port Townsend police chief

Troy Surber has more than 20 years in city law enforcement

PORT TOWNSEND — A sergeant with more than 20 years of experience in the Port Townsend Police Department has been promoted to lead the agency.

Troy Surber, who has served various roles with the department since 1997, was named interim chief Monday, City Manager John Mauro said.

Surber, 57, takes over for Michael Evans, who announced his retirement from law enforcement in a resignation letter Feb. 12.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to assist in this period of transition of the police department, and I am honored to have the confidence of the city administration to carry out these duties,” Surber said. “I see my mission at this time is to prepare the department to receive a new and permanent chief of police and to ensure a smooth transition of executive leadership.”

Surber has been a sergeant since 2007, when he was promoted from his position as a school resource officer. He also has been a K-9 officer, detective, bicycle patrol officer, crime scene investigator and a mentor officer for the DARE program in Port Townsend.

“Sgt. Surber is singularly focused on transition and not in the permanent chief position, so his selection helps us ensure the PTPD’s continued operations and commitment to public safety while we conduct a full recruitment process,” Mauro said.

Surber is certified as a League Cycling Instructor and has presented educational information to children about bicycling.

He’s spent the past five years as an administrative sergeant. Port Townsend’s two other sergeants are Jason Greenspane and Garin Williams.

Surber said he handles most internal investigations as well as citizen complaints, and he plans to evaluate the department’s day-to-day operations.

“We will conduct a review of everything in the department and continue to refine everything we do,” he said.

Both Mauro and Evans highlighted the agency’s Navigator program, which implements a mental health professional who helps connect community members with resources they might need.

Mauro said last month he doesn’t want to lose the program with Evans’ retirement.

“It’s an amazing program that has dramatically changed the help we can offer to people who need it,” Surber said. “We want to connect people in our community to help them be successful.”

Surber studied criminal justice at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif., and he worked for seven years as a controller and line supervisor for the trolley as part of the Metropolitan Transit System in San Diego.

He also served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Bremerton at Naval Base Kitsap from 1982-84, and he was a member of the Air Force Reserves from 2006-09.

Surber has lived in Port Townsend since 1994, when he was a Jefferson County corrections officer who worked in communications.

Evans was named the permanent chief in 2016 after a year-long appointment as interim chief. He will lead a security company in charge of Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia and a medical facility in Centralia.

“I want to make sure that when our new permanent chief of police steps into that position, we are the best situated we can be to implement that chief’s vision for the future of the police department,” Surber said.


Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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