Nelson names Sherman Pruitt as next Edmonds police chief

Sherman Pruitt

Calling him “the best person for the task” of adapting to the changing police environment, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson announced Thursday he has selected Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Police Chief Sherman Pruitt as the next City of Edmonds Chief of Police.

Pruitt was selected over Acting Police Chief Jim Lawless, who started in the Edmonds Police Department in 1995 and has served as an assistant chief since 2008. Lawless was appointed acting chief after long-time Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan retired a year ago, and at one point Nelson said that Lawless was his choice for permanent chief.

However, the Edmonds City Council insisted that Nelson follow the rules for executive-level city appointments and conduct a search process for three applicants. When three suitable applicants could not be found, the council agreed to consider two finalists: Pruitt and Lawless.

“I have greatly appreciated Jim Lawless’s service to our community and his leadership during these challenging times,” Nelson said. “He has served our department honorably and with distinction for 25 years. He has been instrumental in holding our police department to the highest standards.”

Nelson also said that he hopes Lawless will continue to serve as assistant chief.

Pruitt’s appointment is expected to go before the Edmonds City Council for confirmation on Dec. 15.

A former U.S. Marine who served tours in Somalia and Iraq, Pruitt then spent eight more years in the National Guard. He started his police career on the Tulalip Tribal force, where he served as a patrol officer, detective and SWAT team sergeant, and was assigned to command of the patrol, corrections, SWAT and investigations units. Pruitt was interim chief in Tulalip. He moved to the Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Police to become chief, director of public safety and emergency management. Pruitt has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and is a graduate of both the Chief of Police Command Executive Academy and the Criminal Justice Executive Leadership Management Training.

“We are seeing many changes in policing today,” Nelson said. “Social justice, and equity and accountability to the community are important issues being raised in every town in our nation. In order to be effective and best serve our citizens, our police department must balance consistency and predictability with adaptation and change. This changing police environment is one we must be able to adapt to quickly, and I believe Sherman Pruitt is the best person for this task.”

Nelson also said that Pruitt “is well-suited not only to build on the past police work in our city but also to explore new opportunities to engage our community and provide new training and best practices to guide and grow our department into the future.”

Colleagues described Pruitt “as an engaging leader with high emotional intelligence who does not shy away from doing the hard work, and whose integrity, honesty, and accountability are beyond reproach,” Nelson added. “He has established close ties to the communities he has served and has a history of reaching out to and connecting with all members of those communities. His willingness to listen, and his compassion and caring for others came through clearly during the interview process.”


  1. Really pleased with this appointment! Looking forward to a confirmation by the council. Congratulations to Chief Pruitt! Welcome to the community.

    1. I certainly have not studied which of these gentlemen is better qualified for the job. When our mayor begins to talk about “social justice,” I can only shake my head. We are a little town, and not Chicago, Minneapolis or even a troubled Seattle. People in Edmonds are a kind bunch of people, and most follow like sheep. My worry here in Edmonds is the whole ” Kind and BLM movement” is being used to suppress freedom of speech.

  2. Wow! I am sure that Mayor Nelson was prepared for the blowback from this, but I know that there was an enormous overwhelming support for Chief Lawless.

    Sherman Pruitt seems like a great candidate, and I look forward to hearing more from him. I definitely enjoyed the communication and absolutely stellar job from Chief Lawless, and I hope that Chief Pruitt will continue the success of the EPD in our community.

    While I am sure that Chief Pruitt will do a great job, I just didn’t see any actual reason in this article that Chief Lawless was not selected beyond “Social justice, and equity” and Pruitt being a hard worker. Certainly Chief Lawless has proved that he was able to adapt quickly, is also a hard worker, and I did not see any other reason given by the Mayor in his statements beyond race. Many of the qualities provided such as training and connection to the community seems to be something that is shared across both candidates.

    Frankly given the passions on this issue, I expected to have the Mayor give a more detailed response on this decision.

    I encourage those who had determined that Chief Lawless had already proved himself, and was the best candidate for the job, to work very hard to not take it out on Chief Pruitt. It is in all of our interests to see the new Chief succeed, and any anger at this decision should be directed at the Mayor for this decision, and not the new Edmonds police Chief.

    1. Personally, I will support either Lawless or Pruitt. The Edmonds Mayor position and the City Council itself worry me much more than any police Departments.
      I do not want a city government like SEATTLE that is for sure, I want police in our town and no defunding or trying to make our police leave us who are victims of many violent and terrifying situations without protection. Police Want To Protect and Go after the criminals. That is why they become police. I agree with them.

  3. This is one more shocking decision by Mayor Nelson. Mr. Pruitt is very likely a good person, but his credentials for police chief in no way match up to those of Jim Lawless. The Edmonds police force, and Jim Lawless, are very highly regarded by the citizens of Edmonds. As the saying goes “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. It sounds like Mayor Nelson has bought into the garbage about de-funding and re-imagining police, so he’s selected the candidate who will better take our police force in that misguided direction.

    This week our city council made a wise decision to not support the mayor’s request for emergency powers. At the Dec. 15th meeting they need to demonstrate that that action was not a fluke – that they will vote against the wishes of the council president when that action is called for.

    I hope that the citizens of Edmonds will urge all city council members to vote against confirming Mr. Pruitt as our police chief.

    1. Sam, this just looks like dirty laundry. I read a bit of this and it doesn’t seem like this would disqualify Pruitt for any job.

      1. Matt, that is exactly the point. Do we want a police chief with dirty laundry? and a history of suing other police departments when his wife does something criminal? the suit was thrown out by the US court for not having any merit but I bet it cost the taxpayers thousands. Read the whole thing. Not a reason to disqualify but a definate testament of integrity.

        1. I prefer Lawless, but I’m ride or die for my wife too and can relate. Gotta give Pruitt respect on this one. I just don’t think Mike knows what’s up from down.

        2. I agree matt in that Mike doesn’t know up from down. so if your wife did something illegal like harrassment and you were a police officer, you would sue the officers who arrested her and cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars for nothing? do we need a police chief that thinks him and his family are above the law?

    2. Oh Ron, Ron, Ron, there is now a new “Be Kind,” rule in Edmonds. It means not to have a counter opinion that is right of center.

  4. By every indication they are both very talented and worthy candidates, and it is unfortunate that only one could be appointed our Chief. Heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude are certainly owed to Acting Chief Lawless for putting his name out for consideration (and for being an ever-exemplary member of our Police Department); nevertheless, we have a new Chief now, so people need to welcome him and get behind him in support of making our community safer and an even better place to live.

    Welcome to our community, Chief Pruitt.

  5. I am so disappointed by this news and I urge all city council members to vote NO in appointing Mr. Pruitt as our new police chief. Chief Lawless is by far the most experienced person for the permanent position of chief and has proven himself over and over again as the best person for this most important job This is why it why we have checks and balances in government and especially why we should never give absolute power to one person, namely Mike Nelson Our mayor and council should be working for the wishes of it’s citizens, not against us! Unbelievable!!

    1. I am happy with this decision and feel the mayor had two good choices. I also am a life long resident that feels the mayor is working for the citizens. I would be extremely disappointed if the council did not approve this very qualified candidate. So happy to finally have a police chief.

  6. I knew that Nelson was going to be a complete and total disaster for Edmonds but even I am stunned by this latest example of incompetence. Honestly, when does the recall discussion start?

    1. A recall seems premature, but this decision will almost certainly factor in when Edmonds residents decide whether Mayor Nelson will be a one term Mayor.

      If Mayor Nelson had done a thorough analysis of the selection criteria for his choice, he certainly failed miserably in conveying that to his constituents. It is the duty of the Council and the residents of Edmonds to hold him accountable for that failure.

      Chief Pruitt seems like an excellent person, and I look forward to hearing more from him. However it appears from the Mayor’s statement, that he made this decision almost entirely based on a personal political crusade rather than a decision based on the interests of the police department, or the city of Edmonds as a whole.

      That is not fair to Chief Lawless, our new Chief Pruitt, or the city of Edmonds.

      Still, even though it seems like the overwhelming vast majority of residents had determined that Chief Lawless was the clear more qualified and capable choice, it is up to all of us to see that our new Chief Pruitt succeeds. His success or failure is all of our success or failure.

      1. It appears that you are assuming that the city council is going to “rubber stamp” Mayor Nelson’s nomination. This is not over until “the fat lady sings”.

  7. An excellent decision. Thank you, Mayor Nelson. I am contacting council members to let them know Mr. Pruitt has my full support and that of my neighbors.

    1. Hahaha. I had to I wonder do they force a be kind rule? Lol I’m kind and have never had to be forced to do so. Is this like a Sociopath who has to practice facial expressions in the mirror etc. Are there classes? I just thought a bit of levity might be nice. CARL…good one. Deb

  8. I do not know anything about Chief Pruitt to hold anything against him. However, when I think of the kind of person I want as my police chief, I want someone with ties to the community and a proven record serving said community. Chief Lawless fit those credentials perfectly. After 25 years of service, it seems a bit unfair to not give the job to Chief Lawless.

  9. On April 9th Mike Nelson said about Jim Lawless “I can’t imagine a person better suited for this job than Jim.” Now, after being strung along for many months, he is treated with nothing but disrespect from Mike Nelson. Jim Lawless, during one of the most difficult times in history, has done nothing but lead the police department and Edmonds community with dignity, grace transparency and class. I wish I could say the same about Mike Nelson. This is no way to treat someone that has devoted 25 years to the community. What terrible show of morals/ethics from Mike Nelson.

  10. Let’s be clear with the process, despite the headline Mayor Nelson did not “name” Mr. Pruitt as the new Chief of Police. He nominated him for the position and it is up to the Council to confirm that nomination. If a majority of the council approves the nomination, Mr. Pruitt will become the Police Chief, if not, then he will not be.

  11. Because public safety is the most important function of government, choosing a permanent police chief is one of the most important decisions our local officials will make. I assume the Mayor had a list of qualities/qualifications/other criteria he could use to objectively rate each candidate. The City Council (and Public) should ask for that list as they do their due diligence.

  12. Pruitt is a SJW cop according to Nelson? That’s why Nelson chose him? It looked like Lawless was popular around here.

  13. Last comment of the day, qualifications and scale matter when talking about the important position Chief of Police. Neither downplaying nor touting the qualifications of either officer. These are the same facts I would look for in hiring someone to manage or lead anything.

    From various sources:

    “Lawless has worked for the Edmonds Police Department for 25 years, half that time as assistant chief.

    He has a master’s degree in public administration, a masters certificate in law enforcement management, as well as a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology and criminal justice. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, according to the city.

    Pruitt is the police chief, director of public safety and emergency management services for the Sauk-Suiattle Police Department near Darrington. Before that, Pruitt was the interim chief for the Tulalip Police Department.

    He has worked in law enforcement for 14 years and also has served in the Marine Corps and the Washington Air National Guard. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and has received extensive training through leadership programs, the city said in a news release.”

    From the Tulalip Tribe website –

    “Our tribal population is over 4,900 and growing, with 2,700 members residing on the 22,000 acre Tulalip Indian Reservation. We are located north of Everett and the Snohomish River and west of Marysville, Washington.”

    At my somewhat unscientific count, 17 police officers.

    Darrington (plus a rough estimate of Tribal members) – 500 residents, Darrington – 1,400 residents.

    Edmonds, Roughly 40,000 residents, and based on the Edmonds website, 53 commissioned officers as of 2014 (I could not find newer numbers)

    Council should act accordingly and responsibly in this matter.

  14. I’m not sure I understand the vitriol toward Mayor Nelson since he was forced to back track on his original position by the city council which demanded a “by the book process” for the choice. If I were Nelson, I would have chosen Lawless as the more technically qualified and with better underlying experience for the job. That said, I think Pruitt is qualified and will do a good job and should be welcomed with open arms, if he is confirmed by the council.

    Basically it comes down to Nelson saying, “this is the guy for our racially troubled times and who I personally prefer to work with, but what do you think City Council?” I think Nelson, rightfully, tossed it back to the council for the final resolution since they forced the process to occur. I assume the council could force the process to be started over if it comes to that. Lawless is a good guy grownup and understands the politics of it and he will handle what happens with more grace and dignity than most of the rest of us, I suspect.

    1. I do not disagree, and these are all valid points. Council has a responsibility to act in the best interest of the City. The Mayor has the choice to surround himself (or at least propose) with City Staff. None the less, it will be interesting. Both candidates are qualified. One is more qualified than the other (IMO).

      My curiosity is, if we want to open doors to be more diverse and inclusive, why are we not hiring a candidate for Assistant Chief of Police, one that can be mentored, learn the community, bring valuable and needed insight/perspective on bias into a senior leadership role, while preparing to lead a force approximately 4 times the size of previous forces and a City approximately 10 times the previous leadership positions. Lawless has 25 years of service, and most likely is nearing the time when he will hang it up, head back to Key West, and hopefully catch huge Tarpon in the Florida Straights. Seems like a perfectly reasonable way to bring Pruitt or any D&I candidate into the force and prepare them for a large change in scale and a totally different policing environment.

      Council still has the responsibility to say yay or nay on this, and like you point out, the citizens of Edmonds (and the surrounding communities) should and will accept the new police chief, no matter who it might be. It is in their hands, and I suspect that Mayor Nelson will not submit a candidate that ever pleases everyone, but when you have a solid candidate that will vacate a position of leadership, why not take that approach.

      1. There you go talking common sense. Government usually does not operate in this matter. If Lawless is passed over, I can’t believe there will not be a lot of bad feelings in the department. Pruitt can wait several years and learn from the best. Assistant Chief in Edmonds is a promotion for Pruitt…

    2. When Mayor Nelson took his oath of office at the start of 2020, he was aware of the City’s laws for filling Appointive Office vacancies. He had participated in the process as a City Councilmember. The July 9, 2019 City Council Meeting Minutes document he was one of six Councilmembers who voted to waive the three-interview rule in ECC 2.10.010 for the Human Resources Director vacancy.

      Mayor Nelson announced in February 2020 the retention of a search firm for the “anticipated recruiting process” for a permanent police chief:

      His original action is further evidence that Mayor Nelson was aware of the City’s laws for filling Appointive Office vacancies. I do not know how much money was paid the search firm prior to Mayor Nelson issuing the following Press Release on April 9, 2020:

      Mayor Nelson announced his appointment before City Council had interviewed candidates. Mayor Nelson’s second action on this Appointive Office vacancy was not an action allowed by our City Code.

      On June 30, 2020, the acting directorship expired.

      It is the duty of the Mayor to ensure a “by the book process” and see that our laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced. In this situation, City Council was asked to change a law AFTER the Mayor acted contrary to Code on April 9, 2020. I can understand why City Council did not establish a precedent of changing City law after it had been violated.

      I wonder why Mayor Nelson did not simply ask City Council to approve his second action before he took that action. Had Council been asked to approve a one-time exception before Mayor Nelson acted on April 9th, it may have been easy to accomplish appointment and confirmation of Jim Lawless long ago.

    1. My information, which could be wrong, indicates that you do not reside in Edmonds. You do not have to be a resident of Edmonds to comment on MEN, but I believe that the comments you made make it relevant. Please email your address to Teresa so that this can be resolved.

      1. I don’t require anyone to disclose to readers what city they live in — I have verified that Ms. Gunning is a real person living in South Snohomish County. It’s up to her whether she wants to disclose her city of residence.

        1. Thank you Teresa. This was kinda scary, to be asked these questions, but I did respond below.

      2. Whoa. What info do you have? I live in Edmonds. Lake Ballinger area. Own a home, pay taxes, and vote here. Have I always lived here? No. I’m guessing you’ve seen outdated info online indicating I live elsewhere. I have lived many places in my 51 years but am now firmly ensconced in Edmonds. If you want to complain to Teresa, please do. Thank you.

      3. This is unbelievably inappropriate. A private citizen demanding proof of someone living in a city for a comment in the comment section? A certain council member did this to one of my friends during the campaign ms last year and it REEKS of elitism. Just because you do not recognize the name or agree with the poster does not warrant this. Plenty of us who indeed LIVE HERE support this decision. Mayor Nelson was elected by us. The people have spoken.

  15. Change is never easy – and yet, change is not always required. I am interested in the scoring guide used to determine the selection as this might provide some insight into why the shift from Chief Lawless to Pruitt. I’d love to see the top five reasons Pruitt is the right person and compare those against the top five reasons Lawless is the right person. I’d also like to see the bottom five reasons each is not the best person.

    As a community, I believe we all want to rally around the “best-fit and best-qualified” person for the position.

    1. I got 10 bucks and a bag of nuts that says we will not see the scoring guide. If we do, it will say “Because it was my choice, and it was the direction the City, in my opinion, needs to go”. The math doesnt add up, so it is a matter of Mayoral choice. I could be wrong. Maybe my comments will spur Mayor Nelson to provide more detailed support as to why, as a City, this is what we are choosing to do (and yes, we are choosing to do this, the Mayor is just the conduit we installed to move it through government….)

  16. Not sure what you (Allen Dale) mean by “impulsive woke” to describe the mayor, but setting aside the “impulsive,” applying the commonly understood definition of “woke” to describe him is not accurate, IMO. He’s a middle class white guy who talks the talk about racism but doesn’t walk the walk. Pretty typical of his type.

    1. In general, I have a hard time accepting positions that start with “SJW”, “Woke”, “Trump Chump”, “Libtard”, “Far Right” etc to describe someone. I see it a lot, and think it cheapens and discounts the facts by obfuscating the issues with emotional political speak. I do not know how to define any of the categories above, and some of the comments in this thread get cheapened by rhetoric. The numbers do not lie, the facts typically do not lie, and in this case, the Mayor has made a choice that is preferable to him, but not necessarily in the best interest or supported the majority of the community.

      1. Same here. I could write an essay of pejorative adjectives that lead to me being turned off to someones argument. Apart from Cheif Pruits race I cannot really see anything that suggests this was a so called “SJW” decision.

  17. Council, as our city’s board of directors, has a very important role in this decision. If Chief Pruitt is demonstrably best qualified to lead our department as it evolves to meet our increasingly diverse population’s demands for good policing, we all should embrace the mayor’s decision fully. But since this position is, in my view, one of the most important in our city, I truly hope Council takes the time necessary to review all the facts and factors that led to the decision to select Chief Pruitt before voting on approving or denying the selection.

  18. I believe there is a slight correction to the article, that is noteworthy. In just my limited research, I found that Mr. Pruitt started his career in Seattle – JULY 2004 – and perhaps because it was short-lived it was not worth mentioning. I’m sure the council became aware of this through their vetting process, as did the Mayor.

  19. Impressive resume, A former U.S. Marine who served tours in Somalia and Iraq, & SWAT team sergeant. Congrats on new position and welcome. If anyone is wondering I live in 98020 zip code….

  20. Before the City Council makes it’s determination to approve the appointment of Mr. Pruitt as Edmonds Police Chief, they need to closely examine his history to determine if he meets the legal requirements for appointment to the position of Chief of Police and do the background investigation required by state law, RCW 35.21.334.

    RCW 35.21.333 Chief of police or marshal—Eligibility requirements.

    (1) A person seeking appointment to the office of chief of police or marshal, of a city or town, including a code city, with a population in excess of one thousand, is ineligible unless that person:
    (f) Has completed at least two years of regular, uninterrupted, full-time commissioned law enforcement
    employment involving enforcement responsibilities with a government law enforcement agency; and
    (g) The person has been certified as a regular and commissioned enforcement officer through compliance
    with this state’s basic training requirement or equivalency.

    The term “commissioned law enforcement” means completion of training approved by the Washington State Training Commission (RCW 43.101.200).

    It has not been revealed in the public information provided to date that Mr. Pruitt is a “Commissioned Peace Officer” who has met the requirements of RCW 43.101.095. I urge the Council to do it’s due diligence on these issues before making any decision to affirm Mr. Pruitt’s appointment.

  21. As a lifelong resident of Edmonds, I am extremely disappointed and stunned with Mayor Mike Nelson’s choice for Police Chief of our city. The Council, who are elected representatives of the citizens of Edmonds, should vote NO in appointing Mr. Pruitt as our new Police Chief.
    I have known Jim Lawless for several years and to compare the two candidates is like comparing apples to oranges. Jim is far more technically qualified, experienced, transparent and his integrity is unreproachable. He has dedicated his career to the city of Edmonds for 25 years. He is highly respected by the staff and officers. He has been instrumental in bringing diversity to the Edmonds Police department. During these tumultuous times for the City, State & Country, Jim has led Edmonds with honesty, dignity, and integrity. Jim has “earned” the Chief position. To be blunt, in my opinion, this is a politically and racially motivated decision by Mayor Nelson.
    With Mike Nelson’s recommendation of Police Chief and his recent request for emergency power’s, I regret I voted for him as Mayor. I will not make that mistake in the future. The Council has the duty to review all the criteria and approve or disapprove his choice for Edmonds Chief of Police. I urge the Council to make the decision based upon vetting each candidate thoroughly and to listen to the citizens of Edmonds.

  22. Mr. Bucklin makes sense. Has the Mayor and HR already completed due diligence on these matters before the recommendation? Is the candidate qualified?

  23. I, too, was stunned to read that Mayor Nelson named Sherman Pruitt as our Chief of Police instead of Jim Lawless, who is a proven police administrator, highly skilled, community-oriented, and well-respected in the law enforcement community as well as the City of Edmonds. I have nothing negative to say about Pruitt, but Jim Lawless was a topnotch choice for Edmonds Police Chief, and this seems like an unexpected outcome.

    I am the former civilian Crime Prevention Officer for the Lynnwood Police Department, retired after 20 years of service, and a long-time Edmonds resident. I looked forward to working with Chief Lawless to replicate several very successful programs I created. In 1994, I began the Lynnwood Police Citizens Academy, now in its 32nd session, and the Lynnwood Police Citizens Patrol, a group of 70 volunteers who conducted bike patrol of the parks and trails, wrote handicapped citations, opened locked doors for citizens, directed traffic, and gave the city an incredible 21,000 volunteer hours of service in one year alone. I also began a criminal justice, law enforcement, and emergency response program called Outreach to New Americans. Chief Lawless, who was always open to new community outreach ideas, was enthusiastic about the possibility of reworking these programs to fit the needs of the Edmonds Police Department.
    I wonder if we citizens will ever know what went into this unexpected decision about our new Chief of Police.

  24. I am a long time resident of Edmonds. I feel that based on his credentials, Sherman Pruitt is qualified for this position. However, it is important that the decision-makers select the MOST qualified candidate for this position at this time. I have known Jim Lawless for years, and I fully endorse him for this role. He is steady, focused and professional. It doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t promote someone who has put in the time, has been loyal to the Edmonds police department, and knows this city, especially since his credentials and years of experience exceed that of the other candidate. It is important for the police chief and our city leadership to create a plan which aligns with the needs of our community and protects and serves EVERY citizen. I feel confident that Jim Lawless can lead this important effort!

  25. Molly, I’m not sure I share your feelings that Mr. Pruitt is qualified. Based on his credentials, I’m missing where he measures up: the following is from the Edmonds job description “Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Police Administration, Law Enforcement or related field and ten years of increasingly responsible law enforcement experience as a sworn general authority law enforcement officer, including five years of senior command and executive management experience that includes major command responsibilities, staff supervisory and budgetary responsibility; OR an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.” I’m not seeing the five years of senior command and what follows.

    I do agree that Chief Lawless can lead this important effort.

    I commend Mr. Pruitt for his service, both in the military and in police uniform. Unfortunately, based on what I know regarding his qualifications, he is not the best-qualified for this position.

    I would also encourage the mayor, his team and the council to do proper due diligence and share we they know about his time with SPD – and the reason for his departure.

    1. Michael,
      That is very enlightening and definitely reinforces my belief that Jim Lawless is a better fit for this position at this time.
      Thank you.

    2. Molly, Mike,

      I am taking the position that Mr. Pruitt or Mr. Lawless is either qualified for the position or qualified for the position. (I mean our Mayor certainly would not take the obtuse position that a candidate he nominates does not meet the requirements laid out in City law), I am taking the position that the best and most qualified individual be given the job. Save the political statements for the stump speeches, put the best candidate in the role. I would be willing to take the second best candidate for diversity and change IF they met the qualifications and had the experience necessary to lead this town. In this case, the answer is fairly clear.

  26. If 5 years of senior command is required and Mr. Pruitt doesnt have that, how can he be considered if those are the minimum qualifications? And like was asked-what is the change that Edmonds wants to do to the police department and how is Mr. Lawless not qualified to do that? Why didn’t the article with the announcement share his experience with SPD? It looks like that is the only time he has in a nontribal police department.

  27. I am still waiting for the Mayor to release his checklist and have a little transparency in the process. He can show the checklist he used for all of the candidates, remove the names to protect their private information, and let us see the process he followed (whether he interviewed the current police officers, had a points based system that included a D&I section, a qualifications based system, or any other rating system he had) – we will not see anything from Mayor Nelson. The Mayor has made a decision, as he is allowed to do. The Council has to weight the legality, the qualifications, and make the ultimate decision. This is well played by Mayor Nelson, he has zero skin in the game on this decision. If Pruitt does not get confirmed, council made the decision. If Pruitt does get confirmed, he will applaud the decision of the Council. Absolutely no skin in the game for him. The people of Edmonds have the most skin in the game, and based on the votes for the last election, Mayor Nelson does not fear his next election. We all have to remember the decisions that are being made, and why they are being made in the next election cycle. Elections have consequences, and this gaming by Mayor Nelson clearly shows how he leads. (Gun safety laws, Emergency Powers, Police Chief nomination) All of these are statement moves, motivated politically, not designed to do anything but make a statement.

  28. Sent to the city council: The decision to select a new Chief of Police is not one to be made lightly. It should not be a politically motivated decision. Race and gender should not be part of the decision making process. The decision should be based solely on the candidate with the most experience and credentials. It should also be the individual best prepared to keep continuity within the department. Clearly Jim Lawless is the most qualified candidate for this position. A reasonable person would vote to retain Mr. Lawless as the new Chief of Police. The Assistant Chief of Police position should be offered to Mr. Pruitt. Pruitt could learn the EPD and meet the people. He could be mentored by an experienced Police Chief. When Mr. Lawless retires, we will have Mr. Pruitt prepared to assume the Police Chief position. Having worked in the public and private sectors, I realize the difference. Private sectors chose the best qualified applicant. Public sectors chose the applicant most likely to get them reelected. I worked as Chief Engineer for 24 years in government. After I retired I was hired by a major shipping company as the First Assistant Engineer. I mentored under the guidance of the Chief Engineer. I eventually succeeded him as Chief Engineer. If Mr. Pruitt sincerely wants to lead our EPD he will not mind learning from the best we have. I most strongly encourage you to not accept Mr. Pruitt as our next Police Chief. Jim Lawless has been a shining example of what makes Edmonds extraordinary. We need to keep Jim Lawless as our Police Chief.

  29. Oh, my! Edmonds-by-the Sea…trying so hard to be like Seattle and San Francisco. So woke; so progressive. As a former resident, I can only shake my head in disbelief. A once-humble community of neighborly hard-working people has become an elitist enclave filled with pretentious virtue-signalers.

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