By Caleb Hutton
A few months ago, after Bellingham Police Chief Todd Ramsey announced he would retire this year, Mayor Kelli Linville said we could expect his permanent replacement to be named by December.
Well, here we are, it’s December.
The city has winnowed the applicants down to six finalists who are meeting with the police department late Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 12, at the station. Two candidates are in-house; the others come from around the state and country.
Below is the list, straight from the desk of the city’s Human Resources director, Lorna Klemanski.
I added the links. They go to some background info about each candidate. It’s all cursory stuff gathered from Google searches, so take it with a grain of salt. Once the actual chief is named, we’ll go deeper into that person’s background.
David Doll, who currently serves as deputy police chief for the Bellingham Police Department. In this role, he is the deputy director of the Whatcom County Office of Emergency Management and the director of the What-Comm Communications Center. [Former Mayor Dan Pike named Doll and Ramsay as his two in-house front-runners the last time the city was searching for a police chief, back in 2007.]
James Lever, who currently serves as an assistant chief of the Washington State Patrol’s Technical Services Bureau.
Gene Markle, who most recently served as a captain with the Kirkland Police Department. A Kirkland Reporter article says he retired in 2011.
Flo Simon, who currently serves as Deputy Chief of the Bellingham Police Department. In this role she directs police department operations. [Simon served as a Bellingham police spokeswoman for several years.]
All six candidates are in town from Wednesday through Friday for interviews. They’ll also perform “exercises to assess their skills and readiness to lead the Bellingham Police Department and serve as a key member of the city’s management team,” Klemanski wrote.
Expect a pick to be made in the next week or two.
Edited at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday: Took out an irrelevant quote.