Ken Semko, the former interim chief of the Santa Monica, California, Police Department, has accepted the city of Lacey’s offer to be its next police chief.
He replaces Dusty Pierpoint, who spent his entire law enforcement career with the city.
Semko is still subject to some final pre-employment steps, such as a background check, but he is expected to start Feb. 11. He will earn an annual salary of $158,054, according to City Manager Scott Spence.
Semko comes to Lacey with 27 years of experience with the Santa Monica Police Department, according to a news release. He started in 1991 as an officer and rose through the ranks, eventually serving as interim police chief. Semko earned his undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
“I have a high degree of confidence that he will serve the city well,” Spence told The Olympian Wednesday.
Semko also won praise from an important constituent: the Lacey police officers guild. The guild has recently raised concerns about the internal operations of the department and pressed for an outside hire.
“I was very impressed with Semko’s experience and he met (and exceeded) everything the guild had asked for in a chief candidate,” guild president Ken Kollmann said Wednesday in an email to The Olympian.
“The city manager did an excellent job in including the guild in the selection process and has listened to the guild’s concerns. I appreciate his efforts in this process, and I am very optimistic for the future of our department. I look forward to working with our new chief so that together we can move forward and continue our excellent service for the citizens of Lacey,” Kollman wrote.
Semko was among six finalists who recently toured the city and the police department and introduced themselves to the community. Spence said he received a lot of positive feedback about Semko after that meeting.