Chief of Police Recruitment
The City of Tukwila is recruiting for its next Chief of Police. The most up-to-date information regarding this recruitment will be posted on this page, so please check back often for updates.
On February 17, 2021 the City hosted a Community Town Hall to meet the two finalists for the permanent Police Chief position. Community members who were unable to participate in the live event are encouraged to watch the event below.
Community members are also encouraged to provide feedback on their thoughts on the two finalists. Please email Tukwila@TukwilaWA.gov or call (206) 433-1850. This feedback will be solicited until Friday, February 26, 2021. More information on the process for selecting the permanent Police Chief can be found below.
Meet the Finalists
Michelle Bennett worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office from 1990 to 2021. She has held a variety of assignments within the Sheriff’s Office. From 2004-2014, she was the Chief of Police for the City of Maple Valley Police Department, and from 2016 to 2019, she was the Chief of Police for the City of Sammamish. Michelle retired as a Major in charge of Strategic Planning and Coordination for the King County Sheriff’s Office. Michelle has been teaching anti-bullying and cyber-bullying classes for workplaces, colleges, government organizations and secondary schools and parents since 2001. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law & Justice, a Master of Science Degree in the field of Psychology / Organizational Development and Behavior, and a Doctorate in Education (Dissertation topic was on bullying), with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, Session 235, and of the FBI National Academy, Session 247.
Interim Chief of Police Eric Drever entered law enforcement in 1992 as a reserve police officer with the Mukilteo Police Department. In 1994, he was hired by the Tukwila Police Department, where he looks forward to spending the remainder of his law enforcement career. He has worked in all divisions within the department and was promoted to Deputy Chief on August 31, 2018. In October of 2020, he was named Interim Chief of Police. During Chief Drever’s career, he has worked on several teams and projects for the department and community with the focus on providing transparency in police policies and processes. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound. He is also a graduate of the University of Washington, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Chief Drever prides himself on being an active participant with the communities and organizations that he is involved with and has volunteered his time with several organizations, including labor organization leadership, BSA Cub Scouts, Little League, Watch D.O.G.S. elementary school volunteer, and currently holds the office of President on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Interim Care Center. He brings his leadership experience from each of these organizations to his daily work and effectively applies this knowledge to the Tukwila community and region. He has worked with the State, the Criminal Justice Training Commission, and regional partners to address transparency and accountability with officer involved use of deadly force, and he continues to find innovative ways to bring transparency to the Tukwila Police Department’s processes. Chief Drever is proud to be a part of the Department’s shared vision, “A world-class police department delivering professional law enforcement service.” He is committed to the Department and the Community, providing caring professional service and making Tukwila a better place to live, work, and play.
The recruitment process for our next Chief of Police has been steadily progressing since last year. After an extensive community outreach process, the job announcement was posted nationally at a variety of law enforcement job boards and organizations.
The City received 18 applications for the Chief of Police, however, only four met the minimum qualifications for the position. All four were invited to interview with the panel made up of City staff, the Council President, various representatives from the community, including leaders in the faith, business, and non-profit communities, and representatives from various City Boards and Commissions and labor partners in the Police Department. Unfortunately, two finalists dropped out; one accepted another position and one chose not to move forward for personal reasons.
The interview panels interviewed the two remaining candidates on February 3, 2021. The final two candidates participated in a virtual Community Town Hall on February 17, 2021 where they got a chance to present to community members and answer questions. The panelists also observed the town hall and provided their personal recommendations to the mayor.
A permanent Chief of Police appointment will take place at a Council meeting later in March.
Before the recruitment process began, the City went through a community engagement process to gather ideas and input from the Tukwila community on the characteristics sought in a new Police Chief, as well as identify short and long-term priorities for a new Chief.
We did targeted outreach to members of the Faith community, Nonprofit community, Business community, Tukwila Boards & Commissions, Teens for Tukwila and Police Department staff. A community listening session also took place.
Community Outreach Timeline
- Targeted outreach to community groups – November 2020
- Community Listening Session – November 7, 2020 – 10:00am to 11:30am
– View a video recording of the listening session
- Community Engagement Survey – October 28, 2020, closed November 30, 2020
- Gather responses and provide a report to the community – December 2020
This presentation was delivered to Council on Monday, December 7 with the highlights and themes of what we heard from the community. This information will help us to develop the job posting and collateral materials so that candidates who may want to apply for the position understand the expectations and priorities for the community.
- Recruitment Brochure – The ideas and input received from the targeted outreach to community groups have been incorporated into this brochure. We appreciate the community’s feedback in this process.