Friday, March 30, 2012

Port of Seattle Police Chief Reinstated

Colleen Wilson, the Port of Seattle police chief who was placed on administrative leave three weeks ago after staff complaints against her, has been reinstated.

An internal investigation found that Wilson had committed no violations of port regulations, according to port CEO Tay Yoshitani.

Wilson was placed on paid leave March 6 after being accused of verbally abusing subordinates and creating a hostile work environment. The allegations against her came from two female members of staff management, who filed written complaints.

For three weeks, Deputy Chief Rodney Covey was the department’s acting chief, but in a March 28 memorandum to port employees, Yoshitani said that a management team and an independent reviewer found that employees aired their grievances in good faith, but that Wilson had committed no rules violations.

“However,” he wrote, “the process identified dynamics among the command team that do not meet the high standards we all strive for in our work.”

Wilson has a 40-year career in law enforcement. Before being hired by the port, she served as police chief in two cities: Monroe from 1993 to 2002, and Sumner from 2002 to 2007. She joined the port in August 2007.

The Port of Seattle Police Department, which was formed in 1972, consists of over 100 commissioned police officers and more than 30 non-commissioned personnel. It’s the primary first responder for all reported crimes and incidents within its jurisdiction, including the port, Sea-Tac Airport and portions of Puget Sound.