Olympia police chief candidates set to answer questions at Olympia town hall meeting

Public invited to submit queries, concerns - and to vote on posted questions


Olympia’s candidates for the Chief of Police position will answer questions by the public at the upcoming virtual public meeting on Tues., March 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Members of the public may submit or support already existing questions on the Engage Olympia website, which the applicants are expected to answer during the town hall.

As of 5 p.m. today, there are 31 questions on the website. Most popular is Rob Richards’ question: “Tell me about a time you saw a colleague acting inappropriately on duty and called them on it then made sure they were held accountable,” with ten likes.

Questions about how the police chief prospects will handle racial issues also abound.

“What specifically will you do to ensure that OPD becomes an anti-racist organization?” asked Russel Shekha. A post by siragwatkins asked “Will you address white supremacist rallies with at least a degree of force equal to that used against peaceful protesters?” Meanwhile, a post from someone who identified himself an ACAB asked if the new police chief will be a Proud Boy or a just a supporter.

Other issues raised were on restoring public faith in the police, reform, crisis response, the homeless, performance standards and recruitment.  Some questions have been removed by the webpage moderators.

The new Olympia police chief will be responsible for a government department operating on a $21.8 million annual budget manned by 76 commissioned personnel, 13 corrections officers, and 21 civilians, according to the Engage Olympia website.

Questions for the candidates can be submitted on this link.


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