Acting City of Edmonds Police Chief Michelle Bennett issued her first message to the community Friday, a day after she started work as the city’s top law enforcement officer.
Bennettt was selected by Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson to replace Acting Chief Jim Lawless, who resigned to take a job as assistant police chief in Marysville.
Bennett noted that her appointment “feels a bit full-circle,” since her first police-related job was as a police cadet for the City of Edmonds.” Bennett said separately that she “in part grew up in or around Edmonds,” graduating from Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.
Here’s her message:
“It is my pleasure to reach out to our community for the first time! This feels a bit full-circle, as my very first police-related job was for the City of Edmonds as a Police Cadet and I’m so happy to be returning to this community! I have heard so many amazing things about your police department and have been extremely impressed with this professional and well-run organization. I intend to provide this wonderful, diverse group of public servants with a stable platform of leadership and direction while the selection process for the permanent chief takes place. We will continue to move forward and focus on providing excellent customer service to each person that we encounter. The opportunities for evolution and transparency in law enforcement are real and I know that this agency has embraced and prepared for them. I look forward to meeting many of you as I venture out into this beautiful city. I’m honored to have been asked to lead this agency and assure you that I will do so with same Service, Integrity, Respect and Stewardship that you have grown accustomed to.”
Bennettt replaced Acting Chief Jim Lawless, who is resigning to take a job as assistant police chief in Marysville. She will serve as acting chief while the city conducts its recruitment for the next police chief — a process that is estimated to take several months. Under city code, her appointment can run for six months or until the new chief is hired, whichever is sooner.
Bennett worked at the King County Sheriff’s Office from 1990 until 2021, during which time she served as chief of police for the City of Maple Valley from 2004 to 2014 and the City of Sammamish from 2016 to 2019. Both the cities of Maple Valley and Sammamish contract with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services.