Brier’s city council, at its January 4 workshop meeting, unanimously approved the hiring of Nick Almquist as the city’s new full-time police chief. Almquist, who is currently a captain with the Snoqualmie Town Police Department, will begin his new job as the Brier Police Chief later this month.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to lead the Brier Police Department,” Almquist said. “I will focus on recruiting and hiring agents who best align with Brier’s core values. “
Mayor Dale Kaemingk noted that Almquist “comes highly recommended and has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. I am very happy that he is joining our staff, leading our police department and helping recruit new officers. “
Following the announcement last June of the retirement of Chief Mike Catlett, city leaders began to search to hire his replacement. The police department was already having difficulty attracting and retaining officers, a struggle that many cities in the country are also facing for several years.
As a result, Brier temporarily contracted with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for additional interim oversight and law enforcement services while he searched for a new police chief. Since last summer, Sgt. Nathan Alanis of the Sheriff’s Office provided executive support to the Brier Police Department by serving as an administrative sergeant.
“I am grateful to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department for helping to fill our staffing shortage,” Almquist said. “I look forward to building a great relationship with the community. “
The city has contracted with Prothman, a consulting firm in Issaquah that provides municipalities with recruiting services and interim staff, to help it find a police chief. Almquist was ultimately selected from a pool of four applicants for the post submitted by Prothman.
Kaemingk described the research process as “very long and in-depth, as it should be.” He added that the consulting firm had conducted “nationwide research and was of great help when we were looking for the new chief.”
When full, the Brier Police Department has six sworn officers and a records supervisor. It offers a full range of policing services, including animal control, crime prevention, fingerprinting, patrolling and investigations, as well as a traffic offenses office. The department serves Brier’s population of approximately 6,300 people, which covers the city’s area of 2.13 square miles.
Currently, the department has three full-time officers. Kaemingk said: “Until we have more officers, we will probably (continue) to need additional help from the sheriff’s office, but the plan is to phase them out as we go along. we will increase our staff. “
He noted that Almquist “is excited to recruit new officers” and “has years of experience in leadership and officer training.” In addition, “We always welcome agents who wish to work in our unique city to apply,” Kaemingk said. “They can call me or send me an e-mail at the town hall. “
– By Nathan Blackwell