Meet Richland’s new top cop
Richland new police chief is now officially at work.
John Bruce was sworn in during Tuesday’s city council meeting just shy of a month after city leaders settled on the Texan to take over the department.
Bruce wrapped up more than five years of leading the Frisco, Texas, Police Department on Friday before driving for three days to arrive in Richland, he said.
“I hope to not let you down,” he said after being sworn in. “It’s a great honor for me to be selected to be the chief of police, and I know it comes with a lot of work. I’m going to get to know the citizens. I’m going to get to know the employees, and we’re going to continue to deliver the very best customer service that is possible.”
He comes to the Richland police department with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, most of that in Frisco.
The north Texas city of about 186,000 people is more than three times the population of Richland, but when he started in 1996 it had roughly 33,000 people.
Dealing with that growth was one of the things that he felt made him a strong candidate for the chief’s spot when he interviewed in May. When he started in Frisco he was the 24th officer, and when he left the department employed 215 officers and 115 civilians.
He said he needed to learn how to balance the competing needs of people within the department, the larger city government and the growing community.
Bruce and his wife have planned to find a spot in the Northwest for several years, he said.
“It’s our love for the Northwest that is drawing us to this area,” he said. “This is a great opportunity. It’s a great city. It’s a great police department, and I think I have something to bring to the table.”
The city started its search for a new chief more than a year ago when Chris Skinner took over the Eugene, Ore., police department.
After turning away their first two finalists, city officials picked three more candidates, including Kennewick Cmdr. Trevor White and George Delgado, the Des Moines, Wash., director of emergency management.
Capt. Jeff Taylor served as interim police chief during the past year.