Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend is a finalist for the vacant Poulsbo police chief position. The city of Poulsbo announced on Tuesday that Townsend’s name had been added to a shortlist of five other finalists.
Townsend applied for the job and was added to the finalists list by Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, according to a news release from the city.
Townsend has been Port Orchard’s police chief since 1999. The announcement of his application to Poulsbo comes less than a month after the chief publicly commented on recent tension between Port Orchard’s Mayor Tim Matthes and the city council.
Townsend, referring to the recent voluntary departure of the city’s development director, also noted stress within the staff. James Weaver, who joined the city in 2008, took a job in January with the city of Bainbridge Island for comparable pay and less responsibility.
“There seems to be an adversarial relationship between the city council and the mayor and department heads,” Townsend said. “All of this is impacting staff’s ability to do their job. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more staff departures in the future unless there is progress to fix the problem.”
Matthes on Tuesday issued a press release on the news Townsend is looking for a new position.
“Chief Alan Townsend is well respected in our community. I have had a great working relationship these past twelve months with him,” Matthes said. “I am very impressed with his professionalism and dedication to our police department. I am not surprised that he is on the short list of qualified candidates for Poulsbo Police Chief. There is no doubt he will be hard for Port Orchard to replace. The City of Port Orchard is interested to see what decisions will be made by the City of Poulsbo and Chief Townsend.”
The city meanwhile is conducting a wide-ranging search to replace Weaver. Associate Planner Tom Bonsell is serving as acting development director in the interim.