The City of Normandy Park announced via its monthly newsletter that Rick Kieffer is retiring as the Chief of Police effective March 31.
The public is invited to attend a reception for the Chief on Thursday, March 29th, at City Hall in the Council Chambers between Noon and 4pm.
Chief Kieffer started his police career in Normandy Park in January, 1977 as a Reserve Police Officer. He then went to the City of Des Moines as a Reserve Police Officer until he was hired back on June 1, 1979. Kieffer was the first full-time detective in the department in 1981. The Chief was promoted to Sergeant in 1983 and Assistant Chief in 1988, and has served as Interim Police Chief several times in between newly-hired Chiefs – for 4 months in 1984, 7 months in 1990 – 1991 and 10 months in 1994, before being permanently offered the position as Chief.
Here’s more from the city’s newsletter:
While working for the City of Normandy Park, the Chief graduated from Highline Community College with his AA in Administration of Justice, Central Washington University with a BA in Law and Justice, The Northwest Law Enforcement Executive Command College, and in 2001 he graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy Session 205.
In 2003 Chief Kieffer was one of the founding fathers of the Coalition of Small Police Agencies CSPA) which is a group of 12 communities that joined to share resources through an Inter-local Agreement. CSPA was awarded the Association of Washington Cities Municipal Achiever of the Year in 2004 and continues to be a model of municipal resource sharing. CSPA provides our citizens with a 14 detective task force available 24 hours a day for any major crime call out. They also have a Special Operations Team (SOT) in which 3 of our officers are members. The Chief has been an active member of the King County Police Chiefs Association and a member of Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) since 1994. He has been the Chair CSPA and King County Chiefs. In 2009 he was selected as the State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) Representative for WASPC at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Over his career here, he has been deeply involved in Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics running his first Torch Run here in 1983. In 2005 he was selected to participate in the “Final Leg” across Northern Japan during the Winter Games held in Nagano. The Chief ran a torch for 80 kilometers over a 5 day period along with 100 other runners as part of the group selected from 25 countries. He was the Chair of Washington State LETR for several years and in 2010 was presented the Law Enforcement Distinguished Service Award for his years of service to Special Olympics Washington. He said “Special Olympics and LETR is one of the most positive experiences I have had in my entire career”.
Chief Kieffer started many programs here including the K-9, Motorcycle Traffic Unit, Rape Aggression Awareness (RAD), Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and others. He credits many of these programs to helping with officer retention. By encouraging officers to specialize in fields they are interested in, the team has a wide range of diversity and expertise that they can use here every day.
Chief Kieffer expressed, “Retirement will bring on new opportunities. I have several projects to complete at home. I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife Mary, our dog Paden, and horse Cass. I have been on call, attached to a beeper or cell phone since 1981. I expect it will take some time to adjust to the change.”
Chief Kieffer is the longest tenured City employee in Normandy Park’s history. He is the senior (tenured) Police Chief in King County. Recently the Chief said: “It is with mixed emotions that I retire. I still love to come to work Monday morning. It is just time to turn over the reigns to the next generation. This team is one of the best departments in Washington. They are a well oiled machine and are supervised by talented, trained and experienced command staff. I am confident the citizens of Normandy Park are in great hands”
Reflecting back on his career here he said, “The citizens of Normandy Park have provided me with a wonderful place to work. I have met many people here I consider life long friends. I want to thank each and every citizen for the support they have given and continue to give to this department and especially for what you have all done for me personally. I will really miss that.”