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Powers officially named next police chief

Bonney Lake Police Chief Dana Powers is congratulated by Judge Ron Heslop after being sworn in as chief Nov. 13. - Brian Beckley/The Courier-Herald
Bonney Lake Police Chief Dana Powers is congratulated by Judge Ron Heslop after being sworn in as chief Nov. 13.
— image credit: Brian Beckley/The Courier-Herald

After a year as interim chief, Dana Powers on Tuesday officially took the oath of office as Bonney Lake's top cop.

Powers, 47, is a Bonney Lake native who has been with the department since 1992 and served as the assistant chief under former chief Mike Mitchell. She is the sixth person to hold the office and the first woman to lead the department.

Powers was originally named to the position in October 2011 on an interim basis, though Mayor Neil Johnson said at the time he planned to name Powers the next chief at the year's end.

There was a slight delay in naming Powers to the permanent position while the council debated and ultimately passed a resolution providing civil service protections to police leadership that is promoted from within the department.

But on Tuesday, in a short ceremony during the city council's regular meeting, Powers was sworn in in front of a cheering crowd of friends, family, members of the department, former chiefs and a fellow police chief from a local city.

"It feels good that it is official as it will bring stability and a known to our department," Powers said Wednesday in an email. "It’s always the unknown that makes people uneasy or worried in any aspect of life.

"I am excited and honored to continue in this role and I will continue to do my best to bring out the best in this department," she said.

"Here is someone who has worked hard and learned from the best like Chief Bryan Jeter and Chief Mitchell," Johnson said Wednesaday. "It is definitely her time to bring her style to the Chief’s office and the city of Bonney Lake is very lucky to have her as their chief."

During her time with Bonney Lake, Powers helped start the city's Marine Services Unit, served as the city's DARE officer int he 1990s and was part of the first Special Response Team, which eventually became part of Pierce County Metro SWAT, before working her way into department leadership.

"I have seen this community grow from a very sparse city to one that is functional and for years touted as the fastest growing city in the state," she said. "Again, I’m honored to be the 6th police chief here in Bonney Lake because I care about this city and the reputation our department has within the community."

Powers said her interim year had both challenges and great moments, citing programs like Shop With a Cop, the Chief For a Day and the Plunge Against Domestic Violence as highlights as highlights while noting the murder of Mary Mushapaidzi, an officer-involved shooting and this past winter's storm as challenges.

But Powers said the best part of her job is meeting citizens.

"My favorite part of being the Chief is hearing from people in our community," she said. "Our community is very supportive of their police department and I continually hear how professional our officers are as well as what a great job they do."

Powers said it was "pretty cool" to be the chief of the town where she grew up and said she hopes to continue the good work the department has done.

"I want to make sure we continue to partner with other police departments, school districts, city departments as well as with our citizens as they are the eyes and ears when things go wrong," she said.

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