LSPD hires new Interim Commander: Dennis Taylor brings experience, leadership
Lake Stevens Interim Police Chief Dan Lorentzen announced last week, that the department is in the process of hiring former Granite Falls Police Chief Dennis Taylor as LSPD's interim Police Commander.
Lorentzen is excited about all that Taylor can bring to the department.
"I need the interim Commander to help with operations, Lorentzen explained. "His knowledge and experience will only help our organization and he has a great reputation."
Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg agrees.
"He brings a lot of leadership skills to the department that can keep us moving in a positive direction and he also has city experience," she said.
Lorentzen has been the interim chief for a year now and has been moving things forward within the department. The department now has set policies and procedures and is moving in a forward direction.
After Lorentzen stepped in as chief his position as Commander needed to be filled. Lorentzen and the city went to the police guild to ask if Sergeant Craig Valvick could step up to that temporary position.
"We had to negotiate a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) because Valvick had to step outside of the union to help run the organization," Lorentzen explained. "He had to be more than a Sergeant to be able to discipline, give time off, etc. with a guarantee that he could go back to a civil service position."
Originally that was a six-month agreement. However, It was extended after that six-month period was over.
"We needed more time so the membership voted to extend the MOU," Lorentzen explained.
The city thought they would have a new chief by the end of this month, however, that didn't happen and so it was time to allow Valvick to go back to being a Sergeant and to hire an interim Commander.
"The mayor told the police department after the last police chief candidate did not successfully get through the background process that he was just going to put the topic on hold for the next month or so and look at what his options were," Berg said. "At this moment in time it just seems like a good opportunity to keep moving forward.
Sergeant Valvick did a phenomenal job and I appreciate his willingness to step in as interim Commander."
Taylor's main duties will include getting the first level supervisors working as a cohesive group, getting them to understand their job better and evaluating the supervisors.
"Bringing Taylor in brings a breath of fresh air to our organization," Lorentzen said. Explaining that sometimes that's just what an organization needs. We still have a lot of work in front of us."
Taylor is thrilled at this opportunity and can't wait to put on the Lake Stevens Police Department uniform.
"Hopefully I will be able to contribute to some of the restructuring the city is looking for, from strategic planning, organizational development and a leadership succession plan," Taylor said. "I have thought that Lake Stevens was a good fit all along which is why I put in for the chief job. I'm excited to get started."
Currently the LSPD has 24 commissioned officers and five non-commissioned staff. In 2014 they will be hiring two additional officers bringing the total to 26 commissioned officers.
"My number one priority is answering calls for service and getting officers on the road," Lorentzen said. "We still have a lot of work in front of us but we are continuing to move forward as a department. Hiring Taylor is another step in the right direction."