They came from as far as away Normal, Ill., and as near as Kent.
Five finalists for police chief, out of 76 applicants, traveled to Olympia last week for interviews with City Manager Steve Hall.
All the finalists are men between ages 49 and 57 with decades of law enforcement experience: Daniel Coulombe, police chief in Hermiston, Ore.; Kent Crutcher, police chief in Normal; Michael Painter, deputy police chief in Kent; Alex Perez, police chief in Longview; and Ronnie Roberts, police chief in Redmond, Ore.
In interviews with The Olympian, they talked about their goals, tough decisions they’ve made, how they will interact with the community, and when they decided to become police officers. Their answers are presented in question-and-answer form.
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Hall, who has sole authority to appoint a chief, plans to make his final pick this month. He’ll narrow the finalists to one or two, then visit the city or cities where they now serve. He plans to make a job offer during Thanksgiving week and expects the new chief to start at the beginning of next year.
The position paid former Chief Gary Michel a yearly salary of $140,455.
“I am delighted to have five excellent candidates for Olympia’s next police chief,” Hall told a handful of people who came to meet the candidates at a forum last week. “This is a really important job, and Olympia deserves the very best.”