The City of Tacoma is seeking an experienced, transformational leader to serve as its next Chief of Police for the Tacoma Police Department (TPD). The Chief of Police is responsible for the oversight and administrative management of the department’s daily operations and for achieving the department’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives in alignment with the vision, goals and priorities of the City Council and the community.
The individual in this role will be expected to promote a robust culture of inclusivity and service orientation among TPD’s commissioned and civilian staff; develop strong, trusting, and collaborative relationships within the Tacoma community, particularly in the black, indigenous, and other persons of color communities; cultivate partnerships with other regional public safety agencies; and work closely with the City Council, Mayor, City Manager, and other City executives to ensure equitable and outstanding service to the community we serve.
The next Chief of Police’s first priority will be to join the City Council, Mayor, City Manager, and other City executives in leading Transforming Tacoma – a City initiative and commitment to engage in comprehensive change, beginning with policing, that will fundamentally enhance and radically re-imagine the way we operate and the way we serve the residents of this great city. The Police Chief will be expected to take a strong and visible lead in transforming the policies and practices of the police department to meet the anti-racist goals and outcomes outlined in City Council Resolution 40622.
Manage the daily operations of TPD in accordance with the strategic plans and objectives of the department and the City
Drive the change and systemic transformation efforts within TPD, respecting the work that has already been done by leveraging what is currently working well and addressing areas in need of change or improvement
Develop relationships with and implement plans for engagement with all Tacoma communities
Actively collaborate and form proactive partnerships with residents, businesses, neighborhoods, schools, human service agencies and various community groups in response to community needs and concerns
Engage and involve City residents in police policy making, strategic planning, and goal setting and reporting results
Develop and maintain strong relationships with the labor unions that represent employees within the department
Lead the hiring, development, and retention of a talented, diverse, and culturally sensitive group of commissioned and civilian employees
Oversee, understand, and make strategic decisions on the departmental budget and other department resources
Create and implement departmental policies, procedures, and guidelines in accordance with federal, state and local laws, and in support of transformational efforts
Develop collaborative partnerships with regional police agencies on independent investigations, cross-jurisdictional issues, development of best practices and play a key role in identifying and initiating development of new legislation related to transforming police services
Serve as an active member of the City’s Executive Leadership Team
Education and Experience
An equivalent combination to: A bachelor’s degree in police or social sciences, criminal justice, public administration, business administration, organizational leadership or another area closely aligned with the duties of the position and eight years increasingly responsible police service experience in a qualified federal, state, or local agency. At least two of the eight years must include command-level experience.
Successful completion of law enforcement academy training approved by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. A valid Washington State driver’s license, First Aid/CPR certification, and license to carry a fire arm is required at the time of appointment, with maintenance thereafter.
Executive-level certification from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission or equivalent certification from another state, preferred.
Knowledge & Skills
The successful candidate will possess:
Senior management experience. Previous experience in senior public safety management in a complex city or organization; strong understanding of performance management for all levels of the organization; skilled at increasing policing effectiveness, including data driven and modern problem-solving practices; fiscally responsible, with a thorough understanding of budgeting in a police department. A history of making significant improvements in a police agency.
A history of effective community engagement and collaboration. Experience using strategies that promote trust, reflect community values and enhance public safety such as community policing. A proven ability to partner with community groups (to include those historically underrepresented), businesses and nonprofits, to collaboratively address public safety needs. A demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability.
Proven ability to develop and implement evidence-based strategies to increase public safety. Broad knowledge of modern police strategies, policies, training and technologies. Up-to-date with findings from research and constantly seeking new ideas, strategies, and evaluation of new approaches, with a focus on policies and practices relating to de-escalation, conflict resolution and implicit bias. Sophisticated about use of crime and intelligence analysis. The experience to establish Tacoma as a national model for 21st century policing.
A track record of working creatively and collaboratively to address the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Ability to address the concerns and needs of the black, indigenous, and other people of color communities; vulnerable communities such as children and youth, undocumented residents, unhoused residents, victims of domestic violence, LGTBQ residents, the elderly; and other groups at high risk of criminal victimization.
Strong communications, speaking, and listening skills. Proven ability to communicate with the public and with police department employees. Substantial experience as a public speaker. Ability to share the vision of a future that attracts and inspires police department employees and engenders a sense of hope and perceptions of safety in the broader community.
A record of productive employee relations. The ability to work well with a unionized workforce and create a fair culture that values officer and civilian input. Having the ability to positively interface with employees, explaining the basis of decisions; recognizing the importance of procedural justice within the police organization; a history of listening to employees and crafting a vision that inspires actions consistent with the vision and values of the department and City.
A demonstrated commitment to officer well-being. The ability to promote and support professional development as well as wellness and safety at all levels of the police department. A history of promoting diverse candidates and creating and maintaining a fair and respectful workplace that values diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization. An understanding of diversity that encompasses race, gender, language, sexual orientation, religion, life experience, and other cultural backgrounds.
Cultural awareness and sensitivity. A proven ability to engage with community advocates and propose strategies for addressing key concerns such as racial equity. A thorough understanding of the past and commitment to equitable treatment of all residents and communities and the ability to explain that to members of the police service.
Crisis and emergency management experience. Demonstrated understanding of the importance of leadership, decision-making and full transparency when situations arise that create public concern; skilled at overseeing preparations for and responses to natural or civil disasters, major events, and demonstrations and protests; experienced in managing incidents from response to recovery and developing resilience.
Tacoma, WA 98402