By Polly Keary, Editor
Thursday night in Sultan City Hall, a new chief took the helm of the Sultan Police Department when Rob Beidler was sworn in, replacing Jeff Brand, who was transferred out after holding the position for four years.
Beidler, who has been in law enforcement for 22 years, comes to Sultan from Mill Creek, where he has been serving as the South Precinct Assistant Commander.
The first two years of his career, Beidler served with the Snohomish Police Department before moving to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. Since then, he has held a diverse array of posts, including leading marine and mounted units and serving as assistant SWAT commander.
He has administrative experience, as well, and was in charge of the Sheriff’s Office of Budget and Finance, which includes recruiting, hiring and managing technology.
In fact, in that capacity, Beidler helped write the contract that Sultan currently has with the Sheriff’s Office, while he was working out the East Precinct Office, formerly in Monroe. As part of the contract, the East Precinct Office was moved to Sultan, where the Sheriff’s Office provides a police force for Sultan, as well as keeps its base of operations there for the entire Sky Valley.
Five years ago Beidler ran for the position of Snohomish County Sheriff on the Republican ticket in a three-way race between independent Tom Green and Democrat John Lovick, who ultimately won. A year ago, Lovick ran again, unopposed.
Beidler said he has been looking forward to his new post, which he acquired during a routine shuffle of officer assignments done to prevent stagnation and to keep the Sheriff’s Office cohesive, rather than having leaders become so entrenched in certain positions and communities that they aren’t as focused on the Sheriff’s Office as a whole.
“It’s a great spot,” Beidler said of Sultan. “It’s a good job to be the precinct commander but to be the chief is very rewarding. I started my career in a smaller town, and it will be nice to get back to that.”
Beidler also started life in a small town, growing up in the tiny community of Kapowsin, Wash, near Eatonville, which is close to Mount Rainier.
Beidler said that he doesn’t anticipate making any sweeping changes to the department, especially right away.
“The first thing I need to do is settle in and look at everything that former chief Brand had going on,” he said. “I don’t want to let that stuff go. Most of the stuff I’m interested in doing is already here.”
One of Beidler’s strongest interests is Block Watch, and Sultan has a thriving program.
Beidler currently lives in Arlington, and says the commute of about 50 minutes is no longer than it was to his most recent post in Mill Creek.
He began his post in Sultan on Friday morning.
After he was sworn in by Mayor Carolyn Eslick, the mayor and the city council expressed their appreciation to outgoing chief Jeff Brand by giving him the a key to the city. Brand was an active volunteer in the city during his tenure as chief.