Chief of Police-City of Tukwila (WA)

The City of Tukwila is seeking an experienced, transformational leader to serve as its next Chief of Police for the Tukwila 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’s elected leadership and broader community.

The individual in this role will be expected to develop strong, trusting, and collaborative relationships within the Tukwila community, particularly in the black, indigenous, and other persons of color communities, as well as the many diverse immigrant and refugee communities that are a large part of the core of who we are; promote a robust culture of inclusivity and service orientation among TPD’s commissioned, non-commissioned, and civilian staff; cultivate partnerships with other regional public safety agencies; and work closely with the City Council, Mayor, City Administrator, and other City directors to ensure equitable and outstanding service to the community we serve.

The next Chief of Police must embrace two critical departmental priorities to effectively lead the TPD:

Learn from and listen to the community we serve and create lasting and trusting relationships with the residents, business owners and other community members of this truly amazing City; and
Get to know the department and the professional, dedicated staff that make up TPD and develop trust and a vision that builds on the strengths of the department policies, practices, and priorities.
Department Overview:
The Tukwila Police Department works with the public to ensure safety, dignity, and respect for all. By constantly improving its own practices and educating the community, the Department both prevents and pursues crime.

The Tukwila Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency with a budgeted staff of 78 commissioned officers and 19 non-commissioned support staff. The men and women of the Tukwila Police Department maintain professionalism and promote safety throughout the diverse City of Tukwila. With a wide range of programs and initiatives, officers prevent and address criminal activity of all types.

The Tukwila Police Department offers opportunities in specialties such as the Major Crimes Unit (MCU), Tukwila Anti-Crime Team (TAC), Community Police Team (CPT), Traffic Unit (Motors), Training Coordinator, Public Information Officer/Recruiter, Professional Standards Unit, Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team (VNET) and a variety of other collateral duty assignments.

The Tukwila Police Department enjoys strong support in the City, while acknowledging that continued work is needed to further gain the trust within the Black, indigenous, and other communities of color. In 2016 Tukwila voters approved a public safety bond, which included the construction of a new Tukwila Justice Center that houses the Tukwila Police, Municipal Court and Emergency Operations Center. This new building was opened in September of 2020 and the Tukwila Police Department now operates out of this new, state of the art 45,000 square foot facility.

Our Mission: To provide superior services that support a safe, inviting, healthy environment for our residents, businesses and guests.
All potential team members are evaluated on the following values:
Caring –We support the diverse community we serve with compassion, empathy and kindness. Professional – We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and act with integrity and transparency. We are respectful and courteous with all.
Responsive – We are timely and effective in the delivery of great customer service. We continually strive to find innovative ways to improve.

The City of Tukwila is an equal opportunity employer and strives to employ a diverse workforce reflective of the community it serves. Qualified applicants with multicultural experience and/or backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

We acknowledge the need for change. We are committed to continued transformation to ensure that all members of our community enjoy a safe and secure environment in Tukwila.

About Tukwila:
Incorporated in 1908, the City of Tukwila is a dynamic suburb of Seattle, Washington. Although a small city with only 21,000 residents, Tukwila has a variety of neighborhoods and housing options including owner-occupied, single-family homes and multi-family residential. New multi-family residential construction is underway with hundreds of units recently completed and more coming.

Tukwila is one of the most diverse communities in the country, with more than 80 languages spoken in its schools. More than 50% of Tukwila households speak a language other than English at home and 40% of our residents were born in another country.

Tukwila has a strong business sector. With over 40,000 jobs and one of the region’s main retail destinations, over 150,000 people come to Tukwila every day to work, shop, and play. Anchored by Westfield Southcenter, which is the largest mall in the Pacific Northwest, Tukwila is a retail powerhouse. Tukwila hosts thousands of jobs in global aerospace and advanced manufacturing and is home to a number of corporate headquarters. It is also home to hundreds of small businesses, many of which are owned by members of Tukwila’s diverse international community.

Tukwila is not just a great place to live and work, but to visit as well. In addition to shopping and dining, visitors to Tukwila can tour the Museum of Flight, watch the Seattle Sounders practice, skydive indoors, attend a SeaWolves major league rugby match, and enjoy other activities like bowling, movies, go-carts, and the beautiful regional trail system.

Tukwila is central in the Puget Sound region and enjoys access to all of the region’s amazing amenities such as boating, camping, cycling, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and a vibrant arts and culture scene with art, dining, live music, sports, and entertainment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
City of Tukwila’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tukwila’s diversity is its greatest asset. Tukwila embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. The permanent police chief should take an active interest in getting to know the various communities in Tukwila, including partnering with community-based organizations and being visible at community events.

The City of Tukwila is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

Community Engagement
The City undertook a community engagement effort prior to the recruitment process for the next permanent chief of police. Members of the following communities weighed in, along with the general public:

Faith leaders
Nonprofit providers
Business community
Teens and students
Police department personnel
City Boards and Commissions

Candidates should be aware – and be able to respond to – the key themes heard from the community:

Community engagement is critical to the success of the permanent police chief; they must be engaged, visible and invested in the community. The next chief must lead by example and set expectations that officers will be visible in neighborhoods and accessible to the community.
The next chief must know, value, and advocate for the diverse community; they should be interested in the many cultures that make up Tukwila and work to both ensure that officers have some knowledge of the different cultures as well as develop the department to better reflect the community it serves.
Commitment to communication with the community, all levels of the department and the broader City organization, focused articulating the mission and values of the police department, ensuring that the feedback loop is closed with the community and clear on
why decisions are made.
Key qualities needed in the permanent chief include honesty, integrity, transparency, empathy, and fairness; build trust in the community and department.
Due to national, historical, and current inequities, many communities of color, undocumented residents, immigrants, and refugees are concerned about their personal safety, racial profiling, and the potential of unjustified arrests. While the Tukwila Police Department has made strides to address such issue and develop relationships in these communities, the next Chief of Police must understand policing in the U.S., particularly around the treatment of black and brown communities, commit listening to voices from all levels of the community, and to a culture shift that builds bridges and mitigates bias.
Understand how under-resourced communities have limited opportunities; identify and prevent how over policing can have a negative affect and work to increase opportunities for residents where possible.
A forward-thinking individual is needed, who is focused on implementing best practices from around the country, who understands that policing must change, and will embrace a culture shift that will achieve just and equitable outcomes for all in Tukwila.
Someone who is committed to officers’ mental and emotional health, as well as willing
to hold themselves and officers accountable to high standards.
Focus on training, ensuring all officers are well-versed in de-escalation tools, anti-bias, cultural competency, and the complexities around I-940; provide officers with tools to handle behavioral and mental health issues, including social workers to respond to people in crisis.
Property crimes are affecting all neighborhoods and communities in Tukwila. The next chief must work with the community to address these crimes, and increase the perception of personal safety in Tukwila, as well as educate residents and businesses on how such crimes can be prevented, as well as how policies and practices outside of Tukwila limit how they can sometimes be addressed.
Utilize infrastructure investments, including cutting edge technology, as well as proven methods such as cameras and additional street lightings to reduce crime and make the Tukwila community safer.
Bring the department back to full staffing when revenues return to pre-pandemic levels and create a pipeline system to anticipate vacancies, both commissioned and non-commissioned.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
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 Tukwila 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, immigrants and refugees, 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.

Education, Experience and Other Requirements
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 the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) Basic Police academy or equivalent academy training that meets the WSCJTC reciprocity standards. A valid Washington State driver’s license, First Aid/CPR certification, and the legal ability to possess and carry a firearm in accordance with Washington State law.

Executive-level certification from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission or equivalent certification from another state, preferred.

Application Process

To be considered for this challenging and rewarding career opportunity, please apply online and attach a detailed resume, cover letter, and contact information for five professional references.

Application materials must be received no later than January 22, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Questions about the position may be directed to:
Juan Carlos Padilla
Human Resources Director
City of Tukwila

Initial interviews are anticipated to take place during the week of February 15, 2021 with final interviews tentatively scheduled during the week of March 1, 2021.

For more information and to apply online, please visit: