Normandy Park Police Chief Chris Gaddis resigns


Normandy Park Police Chief Chris Gaddis announced on the department’s blog Wednesday (April 13) that he is resigning, effective April 30.

Sergeant Brian Sommer will serve as Acting Chief of Police starting April 15.

Gaddis said in his resignation letter that he has “accepted a job outside of Law Enforcement that I will begin on May 2nd. This is an amazing opportunity to begin a new career and I could not pass at this chance.”

Gaddis served as Police Chief since September, 2012.

“I want to thank the citizens of Normandy Park for their support throughout my entire career,” Gaddis added. “This has never been as evident as the recent fundraising campaign by the Save Our Police Committee, and all the wonderful citizens and business owners who donated their hard earned dollars to save Detective Jeremy Hedrick’s position. This has been a National story line and is truly inspiring for the remaining and future members of the police department.”

Here’s Gaddis’ full letter:

April 13, 2016

Citizens of Normandy Park
C/O Save Our Police Committee

Dear Citizens,

I am sure this news will come as a surprise to most of you, but I must inform you that as of April 30th, I will no longer be the Chief of Police for the City of Normandy Park. I have accepted a job outside of Law Enforcement that I will begin on May 2nd. This is an amazing opportunity to begin a new career and I could not pass at this chance. My last day in the office will be April 15th. I will be spending the last two weeks of employment on vacation. Sergeant Brian Sommer will be the Acting Chief of Police starting on April 15th.

I will always have fond memories of Normandy Park as I have spent half of my life patrolling her streets. I have had more opportunities here than I would have had at any other police department. Over my career I have participated in homicide investigations, spent nine years of my life as a Narcotics K-9 Handler and spent four years as Chief of Police for what I feel is the most talented and professional group of Law Enforcement professionals in the State of Washington.

I want to thank the citizens of Normandy Park for their support throughout my entire career. This has never been as evident as the recent fundraising campaign by the Save Our Police Committee, and all the wonderful citizens and business owners who donated their hard earned dollars to save Detective Jeremy Hedrick’s position. This has been a National story line and is truly inspiring for the remaining and future members of the police department.

I am confident I am leaving Normandy Park in a position to be successful. They say you should leave a place better than you found it. I feel with the improvements that have been made; new Dispatch Center and Records Management System to name a few, Normandy Park Police are on the road to a successful future.

Normandy Park is a special place and the citizens and visitors are lucky to have such a dedicated staff. I would like to personally thank the employees of the police department for their hard work and dedication, especially over the last four years. These employees are working harder, under more arduous conditions than ever before. I would also like to thank the City staff for their support.

I will be in the office for the next two days. If you care to stop by and speak about Normandy Park, and the future of the Police Department, I would love to speak with you.


23 Responses to “Normandy Park Police Chief Chris Gaddis resigns”
  1. Normandy Rose says:

    Now that it seems the Police Dept has started to bail on the community, after it stepped up to fund it….is it time for the community to bail on the Police Dept and outsource it to a private security company that patrols the city without having to provide health insurance and other benefits hmmm???

    • Citizens Saving Normandy Park says:

      The Normandy Park Department has not ‘started to bail on the community’.
      These were opportunities that presented themselves to two officers who should not be faulted for trying to better themselves and their families. After all that they have done for us, it is unfair for anyone to be sour grapes at this time.

      We need to buck up as a community and support the Levy Lid Lift and get us back to a ten commissioned officer Police Department. The money raised was for salaries for 2016. The Levy Lid Lift will be for 2017 and five years beyond. The research has been done and I defy anyone to find any other police department in the state that keeps their citizens as safe as ours do at the rate we pay.

      Outsourcing to private security will cost more and is a bad idea. Our cops go above and beyond what every other police department does to make sure we are safe.

      Let’s be proud of what we have in NP and support those that keep our community great and safe!

      Karen Steele
      Citizens Saving Normandy Park
      17837 1st Ave. So., #276
      Normandy Park, WA 98148

      • Normandy Rose says:

        We all know that every gov’t agency tries to spend close to their entire budget every year, so they can ask for more money the following year.

        Problems started in 2008 when property values dropped along with tax revenue and the city budget crumbled.

        If city budgets can’t keep in line with current property taxes then the ponzi scheme comes crashing down…

        That’s how capitalism works. Not enough money…cut spending.

        Normandy Park residents already pay more property taxes than any other city adjacent to them.

        It would probably be cheaper to put security cameras at every entrance into Normandy Park, to track vehicles that come in and commit crimes, than to hire more cops.

    • NP Resident says:

      Normandy Rose, first who can blame any of these officers for bailing on a sinking ship. As a resident I won’t vote for the upcoming levy, not because I don’t like or support the police but because I feel our taxes in this area are already ridiculously high. Second, your call for a security department is absurd. The places you have listed as having security officers in this comment and others all also have police departments to fall back on. None of them have only security officers and I don’t believe under state law you could hire security officers and give them the authority of a police officer. Basically, all a security officer can do is call the police. I don’t know about you but if my house is getting robbed I don’t want some security officer showing up to confirm this is happening and then call the police to respond to take action.

      Where I think we are missing the boat is that this is our time to combine services and save some money. Yes, I hear rumor there was some talk of contracting police service to King County and I would be adamantly opposed to this. But I do many things in the Des Moines and I think they have a very respectful police chief and department. I think this is an opportunity for us to combine with them and they have a similar philosophy of serving the public as do our officers.

      If I was asked by the City if I’d rather pass a levy or combine services with Des Moines Police, my clear choice would be Des Moines.

  2. Stuart Jenner says:

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    Seattle neighborhoods such as Magnolia have hired private security firms. However, all they can do is call the police: they aren’t armed!

    The reality is our Normandy Park police are paid the second lowest salaries in King County. Only Algona pays less. Seattle has announced they want to increase their police force by 200 officers. They are looking to hire experienced officers because the training time and cost are very high.

    There is no free lunch. Our city had looked into contracting with King County , the way Burien does, and came to the conclusion it would actually cost more. It would also result in less knowledge of specifics in our city, which probably would mean a less effective service and protection.

  3. Susan West says:

    NP Resident: DMPD would be more expensive. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you and Normandy Rose.

    • NP Resident says:

      I’d just settle for a short response here why DMPD would be more expensive. Maybe you have made these inquiries but I have not heard that before. Please share it with all on here. Thank you Susan.

      • Susan West says:

        Our City Manager has researched the costs of several police departments including KC Sheriff’s Office contract cities and Des Moines. He compared them to NPPD. NPPD is cheaper. For example, if we combine with DMPD, we would have to pay DMPD salary rates which are higher than NPPD.

  4. Mark says:

    10 years I was a volunteer police officer in your city. Your surrounded by danger in Burien, Des Monies and SeaTac. Right know you could have a real police officer at your doorstep in 5 minutes or less at anytime day or night. You have an awesome small police department. Yet alot of you talk about them “bailing” on you. That is pretty unbelievable! If this department goes away you will sorely miss it. You need to restaff to full levels and find the budget. You need and want people who feel the support from the community, your officers are proactive go-getters that are doing their best to protect your community. Do you think land values will stay the same on the west side of 1st Avenue if you don’t have anyone protecting them. Your a breath away from being Burien. Support Your City and your Cops!

    • Tom Lane says:


      Does a volunteer police force still exist in Normandy Park? If not, could it be reinstated? Do you have any opinions on the Camarillo, California volunteer force?

  5. Tom Lane says:

    Thank you to Chief Gaddis for his many years of service.
    As for increasing security, this can most easily be done with volunteer citizen patrols. Camarillo, California, and beautiful and very safe suburb with great schools in Ventura County, 70 miles nw of LA, has operated a volunteer citizens patrol program since 1976. Nearby Thousand Oaks probably has one, too.
    As for cameras, they work for park entrances. I don’t know if you have issues in marine view park, but that would be a valid application. I was raised in Normandy Park, and up until about the housing crash, there were no issues, but recently, I heard about the Des Moines beach park murders, and that’s just one city and also one beach park away.
    The idea of cameras and citizens on patrol is to give the police more tools on what’s going on on public property. However, they do not replace police. Normandy Park needs everyone to vote for more police this time.

    • NP Resident says:


      You are a perfect example of misinformation. There have been no Beach Park murders!!! What are you talking about or what panic are you trying to create? Wow, get your facts straight before you start posting crap like that on a public board.

      • Tom Lane says:

        Please be civil, poster np resident. The shootings were in Des Moines, not Normandy Park.

        Mark, you’re absolutely correct. Agree 100 percent. The city is surrounded by danger on all three sides due to the surrounding Democrat run cities who don’t put public safety first.

        Poster np resident sounds like a disgruntled democrat who wasn’t reelected ! You never know.

        • NP Resident says:

          Nothing uncivil about me telling you to get your facts straight. Simply saying people like you jump on a blog like this and post misinformation, intentionally or not, and then most people don’t do their research but take your statements as truth. Your information in your post was incorrect and about something I consider a rather major misstatement.

          As for me being a disgruntled democrat, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m a very disgruntled conservative and angry with what the liberals are doing to the Seattle metro area. The way these socialist are conducting free giveaways for everyone, protesting everything the police do, and continue adding taxes, we will be a Detroit or Chicago in no time.

  6. Tom Lane says:

    Cities can also use next door, the web site for citizens to exchange community information, including info about suspicious persons. Police can also post information on these web sites. I have seen residents post photos of suspicious persons from their security cameras who are trying to break in and set off alarm systems.

    Another technique is to ban parking of vehicles over 6 feet tall on streets. Yet another is to ban overnight parking of vehicles on streets between 2am and 5am, except by permit. Streets without this requirement require that vehicles cannot be parked in the same place for more than 72 hrs. Also, banning RV parking on streets and driveways to discourage transients. Thousand Oaks and Camarillo offer many of these rules and both are among the safest cities in the US. The next time you’re in Southern California, be sure to check out the parking regulations in these cities.

    • Tom Lane says:

      Carlsbad, California, probably the safest city in San Diego County, where the flower fields are featured on the Ed Hume show, and where Lego Land is, and the world famous LA Costa resort is, and the strawberry fields, also features a volunteer police force,

      Very pleased to find these volunteer forces in Southern California. If we can do it down here, I know that my hometown of Normandy Park has very passionate and involved citizens who will consider similar ideas up there.

      I’ve spent a lot of time in Carlsbad, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks as part of my urban planning studies. They are very safe, beautiful, clean communities with residential areas that remind me of Normandy Park, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Check them out next time you’re in Southern California……. 🙂

      • NP Resident says:

        It isn’t a volunteer police force, it is a police department that has volunteers. I’m not sure if you are intentionally trying to be misleading or you just don’t know any better. Please, again, check your facts before you start posting misinformation.

  7. Noah says:

    Des Moines PD is the better option than King Co Sheriff. But DMPD is so understaffed that they are unable to staff a full time officer to the North Hill district. Maybe the whole area should just be KCSO.

    • Tom Lane says:

      Hi Noah:

      Also, read what Karen Steele and Susan West said above.It is best to fully fund the Normandy Park Police Force. Sounds like Des Moines has issues, too, on North Hill, but that is for them to address. If they are already underfunded, then one would not want them also patrolling Normandy Park.

      The City could ask the King County Sheriff to do more patrolling of the First Avenue Corridor, if state statutes allow it (I do not know).

      Here in Southern California in Riverside County, there are many unincorporated areas and at least one city (Temecula) that are patrolled by the Riverside County Sheriff.

      However, Temecula, a suburb of 100,000 located 45 mins. from San Diego, has DOUBLE the crime rate of Murrieta, located immediately next door, who has its own police force.

      Riverside County, is a rapidly growing county, and has almost fully recovered from the recession. They now have enough money to increase officers, under Supervisor Marion V. Ashley’s latest budget.

      But the Normandy Park – Burien – Des Moines area is so heavily residential with few commercial establishments, and also landlocked, that it’s difficult to get more growth.

      One thing that Burien could do is to build some high end hotels for Airport travelers and charge a high end hotel occupancy tax. They already have several apartment towers so why not some hotel towers?

      Down here, some of the safest cities love to build hotel towers, Marriott, Hampton, Holiday Inn Express, Extended Stay America, La Quinta, etc. etc. and get a lot of taxes for their police (i.e. Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Temecula, Murrieta, Carlsbad, etc.).

      Carlsbad seems to have the most hotels “per capita,” if you ever visit down here, go to their Chamber and ask where all the new hotels area ….. 🙂

  8. Tony Thompson says:

    Just know that current and retired officers of varying rank, from across the nation are watching. I am 99.9 % sure there will be Chief applicants from across the nation. Officers with amazing community policing, investigative, leadership, etc skills. Real ‘cops’ love helping people, location does not matter. It’s about loving protecting and serving anyone and everyone. It might be a good time to pick someone not from the immediate area, who does not have a chip on his/her shoulder regarding the levy issue, etc.

    • Tom Lane says:

      Tony, excellent comments. Scottsdale officers might apply. They have a tremendous record of community service, and looking out for unusual circumstances. They stop me all the time for my architectural photography, although no criminal charges. Just a no trespass warning since I didn’t know that an area was private property. And charges for overnight parking, which were reversed.

      That’s a good thing, since it means they’re looking out for suspicious folks. And, Scottsdale police are underpaid compared to elsewhere in the Phoenix metro. I don’t know how the salaries compare with Normandy Park. Scottsdale is the one of the top 10 safest cities in the much maligned Southwest for raising a family. Others include Oro Valley (Az), Thousand Oaks, Irvine, Carlsbad, and Calabasas.

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