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Mayor taps Port Townsend officer as next Oak Harbor police chief

Ed Green, Port Townsend police sergeant, could be OK’d by the Oak Harbor City Council Tuesday. - --
Ed Green, Port Townsend police sergeant, could be OK’d by the Oak Harbor City Council Tuesday.
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Mayor Scott Dudley said Monday that he’s decided to name Ed Green, the administrative sergeant with the Port Townsend Police Department, as the new police chief.

Green was one of three men who interviewed for the job and went through a panel interview. Dudley said he will ask the members of the City Council next Tuesday to approve his decision.

It’s a process he’s expecting to go much smoother than the last time he asked the council to confirm an appointment, but he knows nothing is certain in city politics these days.

Dudley said Green is “a cop’s cop.”

“He’s the ideal candidate who will roll up his sleeves and work alongside his officers,” Dudley said. “He’s not just an administrator who will sit behind his desk all day.”

Dudley said Green seemed very open and accessible, as well as having a great work ethic.

Reached by phone Monday, Green said he’s excited about the opportunity to lead the department and make Oak Harbor his home.

“I want to spend the end of my career there,” he said.

Green said he worked for seven years in Los Angeles, and dealt with the riots and murders, before moving to the relative peace of Port Townsend. He’s been with the department for about 20 years and is currently the administrative sergeant, which means he’s the second-in-command. He said he handles all the administrative work, including the budget, but as police chief he plans to also help out with police work, whether that means handling evidence or even going on patrol.

“They’re going to have to hold me back,” he joked.

Green said he’s talked to many people in Oak Harbor and everyone had good things to say about the police department. He said he has no plans for changes, but will first have to learn about the department and the community.

“I’m not looking to come in and put my stamp on it,” he said.

Green said he and his wife, Christy, plan on moving to Oak Harbor as soon as they can sell their home in Port Townsend. They have two adult daughters.

The Oak Harbor Police Department has been without a permanent police chief since Dudley fired the former chief, Rick Wallace, in June. It was a bold move that came just days before the City Council was set to adopt a policy that would have protected Wallace from being fired by making him a for-cause employee.

The majority of City Council members have been very critical of Dudley for firing a series of administrators since taking office in January; that included the city administrator, the fire chief and two city attorneys.

Under state law, the mayor is charged with firing and hiring employees, but he must get the council’s confirmation for most administrative positions. It’s usually a somewhat perfunctory process, but not always. Dudley appointed Ray Merrill as fire chief earlier this year, but several council members nearly managed to derail the confirmation process over  allegations that he may have been given the job as a political promise.

This time, Dudley pointed out that several council members were on the panel that interviewed the candidates. Green was one of the two candidates recommended by the panel, he said.

 

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