Politics & Government

Tacoma assistant police chief retiring to become top cop in Portland suburb

Tacoma Police assistant chief Kathy McAlpine is leaving the department after more than 30 years for Oregon, where she’ll be the new police chief in Tigard.
Tacoma Police assistant chief Kathy McAlpine is leaving the department after more than 30 years for Oregon, where she’ll be the new police chief in Tigard. Staff file, 2006

Assistant Chief Kathy McAlpine is retiring from the Tacoma Police Department to take a job in Oregon, where she’ll be police chief in Tigard.

McAlpine’s move was announced Monday in a news release from the city of Tigard, a suburb of Portland. Her new job starts April 3.

McAlpine has been with the Tacoma Police Department since 1986 and has held every rank in the department except for chief, she said Monday.

“It’s a great opportunity,” McAlpine said. “I started looking for opportunities I thought were a good fit on both sides, and Tigard seems to be that fit that works for me and what they’re trying to accomplish, the direction they’re headed, the needs they had.”

Tigard is a much smaller department, and McAlpine said she’s looking forward to getting to know the department and the residents.

“It goes back to embracing my community-oriented policing roots that I had in Sector 4, so what I get to do is really kind of get to know the community, get to know their uniqueness, what their needs are in the police department,” she said. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve Tacoma for 30 years, and I just want to take what I’ve learned and apply it in another city, and a little piece of Tacoma is coming with me.”

McAlpine said she was hired by Tigard City Manager Marty Wine. According to the Tigard news release, McAlpine developed the department-wide gang strategy in Tacoma, oversaw its first gang unit, and led the department to achieve its first accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement in 2010, and a subsequent re-accreditation in 2016.

Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.

Candice Ruud: 253-597-8441, @candiceruud

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