Bremerton announces finalists for Police Chief

The city of Bremerton announced five finalists for its new police chief on Tuesday morning. The new chief will replace Craig Rogers who is set to retire Feb. 13 after 37 years with the city.

Finalists to replace Rogers include the current sheriff of Jefferson County, a former King County sheriff, a Washington State Patrol district commander, a WSP captain and the former chief of the Santa Paula, Calif., police department.

A public reception with the finalists is slated for 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at the Norm Dicks Government Center in the first floor chambers. Mayor Patty Lent said Rogers’ replacement should be in place by mid-March.

Here is a closer look at each of the finalists:

• Anthony Hernandez has been the sheriff for Jefferson County since 2009 and has served the county in a number of roles since 2001, including undersheriff and deputy sheriff. He has been in the law enforcement field for 17 years and has worked as a detention officer and as a counselor providing law enforcement placement for youth in Kitsap County, he was an officer for the Department of Defense Police Department in Washington, a reserve police officer in Bremerton and worked as an analyst for the United States Marshals Service.

Hernandez has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University at Bangor and he is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

• Robert Johnson has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience and has been a Washington State Patrol District Commander for over eight years, currently assigned to District 8 in Bremerton. He has been with WSP since 1985, and prior to that was with the Bremerton Police Department for eight years. He was also a deputy sheriff for Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in police science from Seattle University.

• Stephen MacKinnon is from Avondale, Ariz., and was most recently chief of police for the Santa Paula, Calif., police department, a position he held for nearly seven years. He has been police chief for the cities of Avondale, from 2001-2004, Salem, N.H., from 1994-2001, and Exeter, N.H., from 1990-1994. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of State in the United Nations International Policing Task Force in 2004.

MacKinnon has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., a master’s degree in public administration from City University in Bellevue and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

• Steven Strachan was King County Sheriff from March through December 2012, and was chief deputy from January 2011 to March 2012. Prior to that, he was police chief for the Kent Police Department for almost five years, and was with the Lakeville, Minn., Police Department from 1987–2006, serving the last two years as police chief. Early in his career, he was a jail deputy for the Carver County, Minn., Sheriff’s Department.

Strachan has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from Minnesota State University.

• C. Stephen Sutton has been with the Washington State Patrol since 1988 and has been a captain since 2005. He is currently Division Commander for the Investigative Assistance Division.

Sutton has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Mississippi, a master’s degree in leadership from City University in Seattle and he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.


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