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Chief’s Message – Eric Drever, Chief of Police
Our Department has remained committed to building trust and reducing crime in our community through community engagement.
In 2020, we implemented several strategies to achieve our engagement goals, beginning with improving standards and processes for establishing transparency and accountability. Members of the Tukwila Police Department were pivotal in the administration of policy and the implementation of training at a regional level for compliance with I–940 and the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA). The Valley Independent Investigative Team (VIIT) members are considered experts on independent transparent investigations and helped other agencies stand up their teams. During the year, the Department searched for and added community members to VIIT to assist with the review of independent investigations. The same VIIT assigned community members were asked to participate in our newly created Use of Force Review Board.
In addition to the above strategies, other community engagement activities included: engaging homelessness in the City with empathy and providing resources to those in need, while ensuring the safety of everyone in the community; participating in the T3AMS Juvenile Theft 3 diversion program, which continued to show a reduction in recidivism by its participants; conducting “Bullyproof” training for Foster High School students. Many of our other standing engagement activities needed to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Community Academy, Night Out Against Crime, Shop with a Cop, Touch a Truck, and other Community gatherings were impacted.
The Tukwila Police Department began the process of accreditation through the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). Accreditation establishes accountability and improves processes through adoption of established best practices in law enforcement. The Department is on track to be certified as an accredited agency in the Fall of 2021.
Recruitment and retention remained a priority for the department in 2020, although recruitment continued to be an issue nationally and we felt the impacts in Tukwila as well. Due to budget restrictions associated with the pandemic, the Department ended the year down 10% of its commissioned staff. Addressing attrition in staffing with a renewed focus on quality recruitment efforts, we hired applicants that share our values to best serve the community. Part of the recruitment efforts included a national search for a new Chief of Police after Chief Bruce Linton retired at the end of September. We thank Chief Linton for his leadership and contributions, and wish him the best in
his retirement from law enforcement.
September also marked the official move into the new Justice Center for the Police Department and the Court. Due to the pandemic, the Justice Center was unable to open its door to the public in 2020. We look forward to the community utilizing designated spaces in the Justice Center for their purposeful gatherings in 2021.
The Tukwila Police Department is committed to building upon our relationships with the community and finding new ways to meet their needs through creative communication and listening to the community through our engagement efforts.
We thank you for the continued opportunity to serve Tukwila!
Tukwila Police Department Mission Statement
We, the members of the Tukwila Police Department, are committed to being responsive to our community in the delivery of quality services. We recognize our responsibility to maintain order, while affording dignity and respect to every individual. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all through community partnerships and problem solving to promote safe, secure neighborhoods.
Tukwila Police Department Vision Statement
A world-class police department delivering professional law enforcement service
A world-class agency is progressive, innovative, and high-performing. It succeeds through leadership and collaboration; its employees and other stakeholders all work together to accomplish its mission, goals, and objectives. It is a premier, full-service department that is committed to creating a safe and livable community. It achieves this standard through the work of highly trained and qualified personnel who are committed to its core values and responsive to the community they serve. Its team members create and maintain successful partnerships and uphold public trust.
We, the members of the Tukwila Police Department, are committed to reach this vision.