Mayor Appoints Michelle Bennett to Police Chief

Mayor Appoints Michelle Bennett to Police Chief
Posted on 08/19/2021
Michelle Bennet(Edmonds - WA) After a comprehensive recruitment and interview process, Mayor Mike Nelson has selected Acting Police Chief Michelle Bennett as his appointee to the regular position of Chief of the Edmonds Police Department.

“I am excited to announce my selection of Acting Police Chief Michelle Bennett for appointment to the permanent position of Edmonds Police Chief. She exemplifies the kind of leadership our department will thrive under,” says Mayor Nelson. “Since stepping into the role of Acting Police Chief, Ms. Bennett has displayed her community-minded approach to policing that reflects our Edmonds values of safety, care, and compassion.”

The City engaged the services of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to conduct the search process.  

They conducted stakeholder interviews with members of the community and City staff, as well as surveys in the community and among Police Department staff. 

Selected candidates were invited to participate in an assessment center in which they completed an analysis presentation, structured interview, and written exercise.  

Earlier this month the Mayor met individually with the three finalists, and the City Council held publicly accessible interviews via Zoom with each candidate, followed by a public meet-and-greet with the candidates. An online survey was also available for individuals to offer their comments on the candidates. 

After considering feedback from all groups, Mayor Nelson identified Michelle Bennett as his preferred candidate. 

A full background check was completed by Public Safety Testing which confirmed that Acting Chief Bennett meets all the requirements of RCW 35.21.333. All background items required per WAC 139-07-020 were provided and verified during the background process, and Public Safety Testing determined that the background met all requirements of RCW 43.101.095.

Upon successful completion of the background check, Mayor Nelson formally announced his selection of Bennett for appointment.  

The next step will be to present the appointment and employment contract to the City Council for their review and confirmation at the August 24, 2021 meeting.  Upon confirmation, and according to her employment contract, Bennett will assume the position of permanent Police Chief as of September 16th. 

Acting Police Chief Michelle Bennett worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office from 1990 until 2021 in a series of increasingly responsible capacities, most notably serving as Chief of Police for the City of Maple Valley from 2004 to 2014 and the City of Sammamish from 2016 to 2019. She was appointed as Edmonds Acting Police Chief in March of this year. 

Bennett received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Justice, a Master of Science degree in Psychology/Organizational Development and Behavior, and a Doctorate in Education, with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and of the FBI National Academy. In addition, Ms. Bennett has taught criminal justice classes since 1998 in local Washington State colleges, as well as for the School of Police Staff and Command for Northwestern University.