The City of Port Orchard is in the middle of a recruitment search for a new police chief to replace current Chief Geoffrey Marti. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

The City of Port Orchard is in the middle of a recruitment search for a new police chief to replace current Chief Geoffrey Marti. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Port Orchard in midst of recruiting new police chief

Application period ends at the close of the month.

PORT ORCHARD — Do you believe you have what it takes to lead this city’s top law enforcement department?

If so, the City of Port Orchard and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs would like to meet with you. But be assured the process as part of a nationwide search will be rigorous and lengthy; it will include interviews with community panels, city staff and a town hall, according to City Hall officials.

Mayor Rob Putaansuu disclosed to the Port Orchard City Council last month that Chief Geoffrey Marti plans to retire from his position when his contract expires July 31. The mayor said the law enforcement association in which the city has teamed with to search for candidates had recommended increasing the post’s pay scale from a top of $146,557, Marti’s salary, to a maximum of $155,000 to attract more qualified candidates. City Council members approved the new rate at a recent council meeting.

In the Feb. 1 police chief recruitment announcement, Michael Painter, director of professional services for the state law enforcement organization, said the police chief “is the public face of the City of Port Orchard Police Department and must be able to foster effective relationships with the community, elected officials, regional partners, City administration, as well as command staff, supervisors, officers and civilian members of the department.”

Painter said the ideal candidate will have outstanding communication, advocacy and critical thinking skills. He or she will be a “proactive, forward-thinking law enforcement professional with a proven track record in effective change management, and innovative leading edge strategic leadership,” he said in the announcement.

The retiring Marti joined the Port Orchard department in 2008 as a commander. He was hired by then-Chief Al Townsend, who had served with Marti in the Lincoln, Neb., police department. When Townsend left Port Orchard for Poulsbo’s top law enforcement position in 2013, the now-60-year-old Marti was installed as interim chief by then-mayor, Tim Matthes.

The search for a new police chief will jump into high gear when the application period ends at the close of this month.

The Port Orchard Police Department has a staff of 30, including a deputy chief, three sergeants, 18 police officers and seven support personnel. The department’s budget is $6.3 million, according to the city’s recruitment announcement.

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