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Kathy McAlpine is one of four candidates in the running to become the next police chief of Tacoma.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Kathy McAlpineTigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine is one of four finalists vying for a job as Tacoma's top cop.

McAlpine, who has been Tigard's chief since March 2017, previously worked for the Tacoma Police Department in Washington for more than 30 years. There, she held every rank in the department except that of chief. She left her position as deputy chief to assume the top job in Tigard.

Other candidates vying for the position in Tacoma include Michael D. Carroll, who recently retired from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office in San Leandro, California; Sean Case, a captain for internal affairs, patrol, administrative and inspection divisions for the Anchorage Police Department in Alaska; and Avery L. Moore, an assistant chief and head of the investigations bureau at the Dallas Police Department in Texas.

The application process closed on Oct. 15. One of the candidates will replace former chief Don Ramsdell, who retired in January 2021.

McAlpine was in Tacoma on Thursday, Nov. 18, finishing out a three-day process of meeting with public officials and the community there. She appeared before a number of panels to field questions on how she and other candidates would run the department.

"The four finalists are very different with completely different professional resumes and could all do the job so it is a matter of selecting the person that meets the needs of the community, to build trust with our BIPOC community and to build up a department that is also in need of leadership (their words not mine)," McAlpine wrote in an email Wednesday night, Nov. 17.

She noted that while her strength is that she has 30 years of experience, it might hold her back "if some of the community does not think I am removed enough to be able to make changes they believe are necessary," she wrote.

McAlpine planned to finish up with her interviews Thursday, she said.

During a panel discussion in Tacoma on Wednesday, McAlpine addressed her plans if she is chosen as chief, noting that Tigard has not escaped troubling times as well like other cities throughout the nation.

"There is a desire that I have to come back to my home city to my home department to make the changes to move us forward to work with the community to make this a community-led department," she told the panel.

On Jan. 6, a Tigard police officer shot and killed Jacob Macduff, a resident who suffered from mental health issues, during a domestic disturbance call at a Tigard apartment complex. A march the next night to protest the shooting devolved into a riot, resulting in extensive damage to the police department and Tigard City Hall, as well as to some businesses along Southwest Main Street.

McAlpine said candidates are being told it will take several weeks to gather feedback collected before meetings with the city manager and Tacoma City Council are held to discuss who to select. That could mean a chief isn't selected until the first of the year.

"I am feeling good because I love being at Tigard and I am only offering up my services to a city and department that has treated me well and in need of change," McAlpine wrote, addressing her chances of becoming Tacoma's next police chief. "I win either way."


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