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Changing of the guard: Harris honored, Fuller named interim police chief
Redmond Mayor John Marchione named Fire Chief Tim Fuller as the new interim Police Chief as the city works to hire its next top cop.
The mayor and city councilmembers honored longtime Police Chief Steve Harris, who is retiring at the end of this month after 28 years of service to the Redmond community, at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“Public safety is one of our citizens’ top priorities, as identified in our Budgeting-by-Priorities process last year,” remarked Mayor Marchione. “We as a community thank Chief Harris for his remarkable service and see this change as an opportunity to thoughtfully assess community and department needs going forward.”
Since Harris announced his retirement to the mayor in January, Marchione has been meeting with police department command staff to better understand the department’s strengths and challenges to help inform what the community needs in its next chief.
To help with the transition to a new police chief, Marchione has asked Fuller to serve as Transition Team Leader to guide this assessment and oversee the department in the interim. Fuller joined the city in February 2005, after serving with the Saint Paul, Minn. Fire Department for 32 years.
“I’m pleased to assist the Mayor, the department and the community in assessing future leadership needs,” Fuller said. “Redmond Police Department has an excellent track record and I look forward to working closely with police staff and others during the transition.”
Fuller’s efforts will be focused on working with police staff, other city departments and the community to identify what the city needs for its next police chief. Marchione said there will be public process to engage citizens for their input.
Marchione said he wanted to identify a transition leader from outside the department who was not a police chief candidate, but who knows the city and has demonstrated the ability to manage positive change and build organizational capacity for leadership.
Fuller was the perfect fit for leading the police department through this transitional period, Marchione said. Fuller said he is excited about his new duties.
“Because Chief Harris has developed such a strong organization, I see great opportunity, especially the opportunity for all members of the Redmond Police Department to contribute to the creation of the department’s future and growth,” Fuller said.
According to Marchione, Fuller will have decision-making authority over the police department during the transition period. He will have the ability to delegate operational management to the degree he deems appropriate to successfully continue the service to the community that the Redmond Police Department currently provides. Beyond the day-to-day operations, his focus will be working with the Mayor, the department and the community to identify the City’s needs for its next Police Chief.
As Fuller steps up to assist with these efforts, he has named Deputy Chief Bob Oliver to lead the Fire Department in the intervening period.
“Chief Fuller leaves us with a strong vision and a direct charge of ‘better and safer,’” Oliver said. “This mandate will continue to be our focus. My particular focus will be on developing the leaders required to move this vision forward. We will be vigilant in auditing both performance and safety to ensure a quality work environment and continued excellence in delivering service to our citizens.”