Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood announced today he has selected Rebecca Mertzig as the next Chief of Police for the City of Bellingham. She currently serves as Police Chief for the Stanwood Police Department by contract with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Mertzig was one of three semi-final candidates introduced to the community last month at a virtual public forum and in a series of interview panels that included Fleetwood, his leadership team, City Council members, community stakeholders, area law enforcement leaders and others.
“I am pleased to announce that Rebecca Mertzig has accepted our offer to be Bellingham’s next Chief of Police,” Fleetwood said. “She comes to us with exceptional qualifications and experience. She has been a rising star in the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, exceeding expectations and excelling in leadership positions. I am impressed with her experience, integrity and enthusiasm to lead the Bellingham Police Department.”
Mertzig holds the rank of Lieutenant at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and serves as the Police Chief for the City of Stanwood, which contracts for law enforcement services through the Sheriff’s Office. She has 18 years of law enforcement experience and progressed to the Lieutenant in 2020. She was named Deputy of the Year in 2010 and has received the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Award. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Washington University.
“It is an honor to be selected as your new Chief,” Mertzig said. “I look forward to continuing the high standard of service provided by the dedicated and professional team at the Bellingham Police Department and I am excited for the opportunity to enhance public safety in my own community.”
Fleetwood said he looks forward to introducing Mertzig to the department and the community once her appointment is made final after the completion of the standard background investigation currently underway. She is expected to begin on June 1, 2022, at a salary of $196,884.
The Police Chief recruitment process was initiated early in 2022. (More details: Mayor announces a new Police Chief search will be held) Interim Police Chief Flo Simon has announced her retirement, effective June 1, 2022.
The Bellingham Police Chief reports to the Mayor and provides leadership and direction to employees who are responsible for law enforcement services in the City of Bellingham. The department currently has 193 budgeted FTEs.