Northwest NEWS

February 8, 1999

Front Page

New police chief takes the reins

new officers

Carnation police Chief Bonnie Soule congratulates officer Bill Brown after pinning on his King County Sheriff's badge. Officer Scott Allen (left), who also received his badge, looks on.
Staff photo by Lisa Allen.

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   CARNATION--As the city's new police chief, King County Sheriff's Sgt. Bonnie Soule says she is looking forward to "making great things happen in the community."

   Soule took over on Feb. 1 from interim Chief D.J. Nesel to officially begin the city's contract for police services with the King County Sheriff's Office. At last week's City Council meeting, Soule pinned King County Sheriff's badges on two former Carnation officers who had passed King County's required training program.

   Officers Scott Allen and Bill Brown will continue to drive police cars with the Carnation logo and wear the Carnation patrol uniforms, but officially they will work for King County. Soule said the Sheriff's Office is currently recruiting among their ranks for a third officer to work in the city.

   "We hope we get a quick response," she said. "There is a 14-day application period."

   At the council meeting, Soule thanked Nesel for "paving the path for me," adding that she is anxious to begin working with the community and city. City officials had said her background in community policing was instrumental in her hiring.

   Mayor Dave Hunter recognized the change in leadership of the police department as well, and also credited Nesel for his work over the past several months.

   "He has been very visible in the community and has been responsible for our transition to a new police chief," Hunter said.

   Councilmember Stuart Lisk agreed. "Without him, we wouldn't be able to take this to the next level," he said.

   Nesel reminded the council of the changes that have occurred in the city over the last year. "Look at what the city, council and mayor have overcome," he said. "And now it's time to move on to bigger issues. Bonnie has a wealth of experience and she will fit in well here."

   King County Sheriff Major R. Fenton thanked city officials for their confidence in the King County Sheriff's Office. "We want to prove you have made the right decision," she said. "If it weren't for D.J., we wouldn't be standing here with a permanent chief."

   Soule has 19 years of experience with the King County Sheriff's Office and has been active in community policing, been an instructor, detective, school resource officer, patrol supervising sergeant, and the only woman ever to have been assigned to the K-9 unit.

   "The K-9 unit is very physical...it requires a lot of running through the woods and blackberry bushes," she said. "That's probably the reason women tend to stay away from it, but I enjoyed it." Soule said she thrived on the work with her canine partner, but gave it up when her dog was retired due to age.

   She said she is planning to work towards solving problems in town and developing programs such as block watches and increasing communication between area neighborhoods. Soule added she has known Duvall police Chief Glenn Merryman for several years and expects to have a good working relationship between the police departments of the two cities.