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Mike Ake Appointed Interim Police Chief

City Manager Appoints Mike Ake to Serve as Interim Police Chief


December 28, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152

Stacy Ellifritt, Media and Communications, stacy.ellifritt@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005


City Manager Appoints Mike Ake to Serve as Interim Police Chief


TACOMA, Wash. – At this morning’s Special Meeting of the City Council, City Manager Elizabeth Pauli made the decision to appoint Assistant Chief Mike Ake as Interim Police Chief, effective January 1, 2021. Informing this decision were the Tacoma Police Department’s need for continuity and the need for an immediate focus on work supporting community-led antiracist transformation efforts.


“This was a process with an unprecedented level of engagement from both the community as well as City of Tacoma employees, including the Tacoma Police Department,” said City Manager Pauli. “I believe Mike Ake is the candidate best positioned to serve our community during this critical juncture in the transformation of policing and the definition of community safety for Tacoma. His interim designation reflects and respects the thread of concern we have observed throughout this process about the ability of an internal candidate to drive transformational change. It positions us to make some of the critical shorter-term changes we know we need to make, and to adapt to the long-term vision that is still to be defined through community-led antiracist transformation efforts.”


“The Council and I fully support City Manager Pauli in her decision, and want to express our gratitude and appreciation for all of the candidates who participated – and for the community members who took the time to engage with us – throughout this rigorous process,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “During this time, punctuated by local and national conversations demanding transformative change, decisions about police department leadership are tremendously important. The work of transformation does not begin or end with the selection of a police chief. We are at the beginning of this work, and I appreciate City Manager Pauli and new Interim Chief Mike Ake’s continued focus and commitment to transformation. I know Chief Ake will be actively connected to our community as we work together to achieve long-term, sustainable change to support the community’s vision as it evolves.”


Mike Ake is the Assistant Chief of the Administrative Services Bureau for the Tacoma Police Department, where he has served since 1989. He is also the Director of Personnel and Policy (holding the rank of Colonel) in the Washington National Guard. Assistant Chief Ake holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University and a second Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. As Interim Police Chief, he will be responsible for the oversight and administrative management of the department’s daily operations and for achieving the department’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives in alignment with the vision, goals and priorities of the City Council and the community.