A new police chief for Lacey – my opinion

August 6th, 2018 by Ken

Dusty Pierpoint’s decision to retire as Lacey Police Chief gives residents a cause to pause.

Dusty has been a good police chief and is well-liked and well-respected in the Lacey community.   When the announcement was made at the monthly Lacey Chamber forum last week that he was retiring, the chief received a standing ovation from the largely business crowd.

His reputation in the community is set.  At the age of 53, he still has years to go and perhaps he will re-appear somewhere in some other capacity.

But, a recent article in The Olympian cast the chief in a different light.  The head of the Lacey Police Guild – Ken Kollmann – stated that the department was a “mess” and detailed allegations and charges against the city and the chief.

The Guild has asked that the city look outside the department for the choice of a new chief, indicating that they were not happy with the current leadership of the department.  “That’s what they said when I was appointed,” Dusty said recently when asked about the Guild’s choice.

Dusty Pierpoint is the fourth police chief the city has had in its 52 year history.   The first chief Chuck Neuman was fired by the city’s mayor Al Homann.  No one has ever said why he was fired.   The second police chief Jim Land was a wife beater, and an alcoholic who ruled his department with an iron first.  It took a change in mayors before he too was fired.   The third police chief came from California – John Mansfield held the job for more than 20 years until his retirement more than a decade ago.  (It was at that time in the 1980’s, when the Lacey Police Chief, the Olympia Police Chief and the Thurston County Sheriff had all been in law enforcement in California.)

Current Sheriff John Snaza has a great deal of respect for Dusty Pierpoint.   In his opinion, a new police chief for Lacey should be someone who understands the Lacey community, something an outsider does not.  (For the full interview with Sheriff Snaza, click on the Coffee With Ken button at the top of the page.)

I don’t have a good understanding about the department’s leadership team at the top, but I do agree with Sheriff Snaza.  The new police chief should understand Lacey and what makes this community different from other cities.

I also agree with the Lacey Police Guild in one respect.  We do need more police officers for this growing community.

Posted in Government, History, Local Politics, The Real News

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