After almost 33 years of service to the Bellingham community, Chief Flo Simon came to work for her final day on June 1, 2022. She began her career at Bellingham Police Department (BPD) as an entry level police officer and rose through the rank of Interim Police Chief over the course of her three-decade career. She retires as the currently longest tenured police officer at the department.
Chief Simon (Badge #150) was hired by the BPD on October 9, 1989, and immediately attended the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) at the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) in Burien, WA. She graduated after 12 weeks of training and returned to complete the field training phase and served as a patrol officer. During the next several years, Chief Simon was selected as a field training officer, elementary school DARE officer, and a detective in the Special Investigations Unit. Chief Simon spent many years as a crisis negotiator, taking the lead on several difficult situations, most notably the three-day standoff in the 1500 block of I Street in the 2001.
Chief Simon was promoted to sergeant in January 2000 and initially spent time as a patrol shift sergeant. In 2002, she took over the bicycle unit as the supervisor, and then was selected to lead the Major Crimes Unit in the detective division in 2004. Chief Simon was promoted to deputy chief in April 2008 and was assigned the Operations Division of the BPD. She served in that capacity for 12 years.
In January of 2021, Mayor Seth Fleetwood selected Chief Simon to be the Interim Police Chief of the Bellingham Police Department. With this selection she attained every leadership rank in the department from officer to chief and has done so as the first woman at each rank in the history of BPD.
Chief Simon attended and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA) in 2002 and is a proud member of Class 211. She is the treasurer for the FBINA Washington Chapter and has an important role in the recruitment of attendees to the National Academy. She also received her executive certification through CJTC in 2018.
Chief Simon currently serves as a board member of Bellingham Public School Foundation and the Whatcom Community Foundation, as well as being a member of the Bellingham Bay Rotary Club.
“It has been my great honor and privilege to have served alongside the women and men of the Bellingham Police Department,” said Chief Simon. “Their devotion and dedication to this community is unparalleled and I am proud to have been part of this great organization for over 30 years. I wish the department the very best and know I will miss all of you. I look forward to what the next chapter brings.”
Chief Simon has opened doors, set standards and broken barriers by her achievements as well as her contributions to BPD. We all thank Chief Simon for her years of dedicated service to this department, city and community, and wish her the best in her retirement.