Fife’s interim police chief appointed to permanently lead department

The City of Fife has a new police chief.

Interim Chief Mark Mears was permanently appointed to the top job last week. The former assistant chief replaces Brad Blackburn, who resigned last month after 26 years with the department.

City Manager Dave Zabell appointed Mears Aug. 6, less than a week before Zabell left for his new job as Pasco city manager.

Mears had worked as Fife’s assistant chief since 2006.

Blackburn’s departure, which the city categorized as “long-planned,” raised questions from those close to the former chief. Some believe he was forced to resign. Zabell has insisted it was voluntary.

The city will pay well in excess of $100,000 for Blackburn’s severance package.

City spokeswoman Laurel McQuade said Mears’ annual salary is $138,480.

Fife Mayor Tim Curtis said he was pleased with the appointment.

“Chief Mears’ servant-leader mindset will serve the department, Council and City well in the coming years,” Curtis said in the release. “We are thrilled to be able to appoint someone with such knowledge and proven dedication to Fife.”