City Manager Kurt Triplett announced that Cherie Harris has been selected as Kirkland’s new Police Chief starting April 16, 2016. Harris is currently the Operations Captain for the Kirkland Police Department where she directs and manages all uniformed personnel to include Patrol, the Traffic Unit, K-9, the Special Response Team (SWAT), Crisis Negotiations Team, and Parking Enforcement Officers. She was chosen through a national selection process that included interview panels with key city and police department staff, police chiefs from Bothell and Mercer Island, the City Council, and the community. As Chief, Harris will oversee the 99 sworn and 36 support personnel who serve in the Department’s three divisions: Administrative, Operations, and Professional Standards.
“Captain Harris has done a remarkable job in her roles within the Kirkland Police Department and we are excited to have her take over the helm,” said Triplett. “Her dedication to the department and to the Kirkland community, along with her outstanding leadership skills made her the strongest candidate within a pool of exceptional finalists.”
“I am thrilled that after a national search Captain Harris was selected as our new Chief,” commented Kirkland City Council Member Penny Sweet, who is Chair of the Public Safety Committee. “Captain Harris is well-prepared for the job and is committed to ensuring success for the Kirkland Police Department. She understands and respects the outstanding organization that we have, and has innovative ideas for ways to make us even better.”
Harris has over 23 years of law enforcement experience. At the City of Kirkland, she has served as Acting Chief, Professional Standards Captain, and has held a wide variety of supervisory and command positions throughout her career. She previously held the position of Deputy Chief in the Monroe Police Department. Harris is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Washington Sheriff & Police Chiefs Association’s Accreditation Committee and is an Accreditation Assessor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Washington State University, has attained Executive Level Certification through the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command.
Harris has a history of community outreach and is involved in the downtown Kirkland Rotary Club, Special Olympics of Washington, a Board Member for an area Food Bank, and participates on a state wide Incident Management Team (IMT) that supports the Behind the Badge Foundation, a trusted resource for the law enforcement community during times of critical need. Harris is also the proud mother of two. Her daughter is currently attending Western Washington University and her son will be attending Washington State University in the fall.