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Chief's Welcome

Chief Ake

I am humbled and honored to be selected as Interim Police Chief of the Tacoma Police Department as of January 1, 2021. This is a historic time in law enforcement — in Tacoma and throughout the nation — as we see a changing landscape in policing. Socrates said, "the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new." I plan to take this type of forward-looking approach as we move this department toward its bright future.

 

The Tacoma Police Department will change, but we will grow from a strong base. I highly value the devoted and committed, commissioned and civilian staff of this department. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, something less than two percent of agencies hold nationwide. We have a bold vision and strong values. We have much to be proud of.

 

From that foundation, we will look for ways to transform this department to ensure all people are treated fairly and all people feel safe in Tacoma. In addition to the great relationships we already have with our community, I will be reaching out to get input from groups that have been marginalized historically. I am fully committed to transformation and it is vitally important to me that we have all key stakeholders involved in that process.

 

I was born and raised in South Korea. At the age of 10 I became a naturalized citizen in the United States. In addition to Tacoma, I have lived in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Germany. These life experiences have taught me valuable lessons. From watching my mother, who did not understand English, to my own experiences — at the hands of all races — these past struggles inform who I am today and how I will approach serving all residents of Tacoma.

 

I believe being the first Asian-American Chief of Police in this department's nearly 150-year history is a step toward a new future. It is just one step, however, on our journey. You have my commitment: we will be "building the new" and making positive change together. On behalf of my entire team, you have my word on it.

 

Mike Ake

Interim Police Chief