Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg has appointed Bruce Linton to replace Mike Villa as the city’s police chief.
Villa recently accepted a position as deputy chief of the Port of Seattle’s Administrative Bureau. His last day with the Tukwila Police Department will be Oct. 15.
“We are fortunate to have such a deep bench in the Tukwila Police Department, and Bruce will be an outstanding chief,” Mayor Allan Ekberg said in a media release on Monday. “He has served this community for more than 23 years and is a dedicated public servant. Bruce’s commitment to community policing and increasing engagement between police officers and the community make him the perfect fit for this important position.”
Villa has been with the Tukwila Police Department since 1990 and has served as its chief since 2011.
“As a department and city, we are proud of the accomplishments and advances that Chief Villa has made to the department and for his dedicated service to the Tukwila community,” according to a post on the Tukwila Police Department’s Facebook page. “We wish him the best in his new position and know that he will accomplish some great things during tenure there as well.”
Linton, who joined the Tukwila Police Department in 1994, has been as deputy police chief since 2012. Prior to that promotion, he had a variety of responsibilities in the department, from serving as the accreditation/administrative sergeant to patrol commander. A commanding general in the Washington Army National Guard, Linton has served for 35 years in the military. The first six years of his service was as an enlisted soldier at Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis McChord) and in South Korea. As a member of the Washington Army National Guard, he was deployed for 18 months in Kuwait and southern Iraq where he led an aviation battalion as a part of the second Gulf War.
“I am honored to be appointed by the mayor to serve as the next police chief of this great city. I love Tukwila and am proud of the great men and women who make up the Tukwila Police Department,” Linton said in the release. “I am committed to continuing to build trust between our officers and community and pledge to be a Chief that is very active and highly visible throughout Tukwila.”
A key leader in the Tukwila Police Department, Linton has led many projects for the organization, including serving as the incident commander for Operation Take Back Our Boulevard, a multi-agency operation that resulted in the raid and seizure of three crime-ridden motels along Tukwila International Boulevard in 2013. Since this operation, crime in the Tukwila International Boulevard neighborhood has decreased significantly, according to the release. Linton was also instrumental in the city’s recent passage of the Public Safety Plan, the city’s pilot Unmanned Aerial Systems Program, and the design and build of the department’s mobile command vehicle.
The Tukwila City Council needs to confirm Bruce Linton as the new police chief. The confirmation is scheduled to be on the council’s agenda for its meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16. If confirmed, Linton will be the 24th leader of the Police Department and will be immediately sworn in.
Linton and his wife, Heidi, live in Puyallup, with their daughters, Brenna, 17, and Savannah, who is almost 14.