#206 Thomas Olson, PT Police Chief

(Airdate: August 23, 2022) Maryanne McNellis interviews Thomas Olson, Port Townsend’s Police Chief. There’s been a spike in violent crimes nationally since the beginning of the Pandemic. Fortunately, Port Townsend has not seen a corresponding crime wave. But it’s been a challenging beginning for Chief Olson, who has been on the job for less than two years. Due to a combination of retirements and staff adjustments only three officers have stayed with the department since he took over. It’s part of a national trend — thousands of officers have left policing in the past few years. Chief Olson’s priorities have been recruitment and hiring. Now he’s refocusing the department to “community policing.” Each officer will have a specific geographic beat with a goal to get out there and meet the community. More bike patrols are on the horizon. PT has only 15 officers for its 10,000 population. But Olson’s ambitious plans also include a defined strategic plan and state accreditation.