Mayor announces finalists for Police Chief position

Four candidates will participate in final interviews

May 12, 2021 - by Janice Keller, Communications Director

Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood announced today that four finalists identified in a nationwide search will be interviewed for the City’s Police Chief position.

Selected as final candidates are:

Kristina Jones, who currently serves as a captain in the City of Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau and presently oversees the community services division. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement.

Matthew Davis, who currently serves as the first deputy director of the Illinois State Police. Davis has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement and a law degree from Saint Louis University.

Nick Almquist, who currently serves as a captain in the Snoqualmie, Washington Police Department. Almquist has 30 years of experience in law enforcement at agencies in Moscow, Idaho and Redmond, Washington.

Don Almer, who currently serves as deputy Police Chief for the Bellingham Police Department. Almer has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement

Interviews with the four finalists will take place during the week of May 18.

The four finalists were identified after an extensive nationwide search that included outreach to numerous state municipal associations and organizations that serve people of color in law enforcement, and networking with law enforcement professionals.

“Like so many communities across the nation, we see the years ahead as transformational for law enforcement and public safety,” Fleetwood said. “Our next police chief will be an experienced law enforcement professional, who has demonstrated success building community relationships and is ready to lead changes our community desires in policing, such as further developing non-enforcement responses, expanding behavioral health programs, identifying and eliminating structural and institutional racism, and building on the department’s already strong culture of compassion, integrity and professionalism.”

Fleetwood said the City is using an inclusive and multi-step process to select the City’s new Police Chief, including soliciting feedback from members of the public through the City’s Engage Bellingham site and holding multiple interviews with final candidates that include internal and external stakeholders.  

“Community feedback has been used throughout the selection process,” Fleetwood said. “For example, community members will participate on interview panels and questions have been developed based on themes identified in the feedback we received from members of the public.”

A new Police Chief will replace Interim Chief Flo Simon, who has said she plans to retire in 2021.

Media Contact

Brian Heinrich, Deputy Administrator or (360) 778-8100

Janice Keller, Communications Director or (360) 778-8100



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