BREMERTON — Bremerton Police Chief Steven Strachan “changed the culture, skyrocketed morale and aggressively brought on lateral candidates to fill retiring positions on the force,” Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent said Nov. 15.
“He was one of my best director appointees.”
Strachan will leave the department at the end of the year, he announced last week. On Jan. 1, he will start in his new role as executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.
“Chief Strachan’s education, training and notable experience make him an excellent person to continue moving us forward,” association President Brian Burnett said in an announcement of Strachan’s hire. “Steve has prior experience as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before coming to Washington. He has served as the police chief in Kent and Bremerton, as well as holding the office of sheriff in King County.”
Strachan has been a member of the association board since 2014 and has served on a number of association committees. He has been Bremerton police chief since early 2013, when he was hired by Lent.
“He is an excellent communicator and is well versed on current policing issues,” Burnett said. “I look forward to working with him in the coming years.”
Strachan was out of town this week at a conference and was not available before deadline to comment, but he has said he plans to continue living in Bremerton.
“I am sorry to have Chief Strachan leave the City of Bremerton after only five years — he did promise me a five-year term —although he is the perfect choice for WASPC leadership and his entire staff at the Bremerton Police Department believe this with me,” Lent said. “Our saving grace is he will still be involved with our little corner of the world as he represents all law enforcement in the state.”
According to an online biography, Strachan — a native of Northfield, Minnesota — began his law enforcement career in 1985 in Carver County, Minnesota. He earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from University of Minnesota in 1991 and a graduate degree in public administration from Minnesota State University in 1995. He served as police chief of Lakeville, Minnesota and also served on the city council in Farmington and in the state House of Representatives.
From 2006-11, Strachan served as police chief in Kent and, in 2012, was appointed sheriff of King County when Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to take a state position. Strachan lost a bid for a full term in the election that November.