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Deputy Chief joins Poulsbo’s finest

t California native Shawn Delaney serves as first-ever deputy chief.

POULSBO — The Poulsbo Police Department welcomed a new member into a brand new position this week. Shawn Delaney, formerly a lieutenant with the Visalia Police Department in California, began his stint as Poulsbo’s first-ever deputy chief Monday.

The newly created position is one designed to assist the chief, especially in day-to-day operations, as the department and the community it services continue to grow. Delaney was chosen for Chief Dennis Swiney’s right hand out of a field of 17 candidates. Swiney said while the decision was a tough one from among many highly qualified applicants, he’s confident in Delaney’s ability to blend well with the department and serve the citizens. He said the qualities and experience Delaney brings to the table promise to be good additions.

“I believe completely and wholeheartedly that Deputy Chief Shawn Delaney is going to be an asset to the organization and an asset to the community as well,” he said.

Delaney began working for Visalia’s police force in 1984. He first graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in industrial relations and personnel management. Since, he served in many capacities, starting from patrol officer and working his way up the ranks.

Now, the Fresno native said he’s ready to be a part of Poulsbo’s police response to a burgeoning community with increasing service needs.

“The city continues to grow, the demands of the department continue to grow,” he said. “Fortunately we have an excellent group of officers and staff at this agency.”

He is relocating to the area with his wife and two youngest kids. His two oldest — twins — are going to college in California. Delaney said he and his family fell under the spell of the Northwest while on vacation in the area three years ago. Getting away from the heat and dryness of the Visialia area, as well as the rise in violent crime, is something he’d been looking to do for some time.

“Everything is so green and beautiful,” he said of Washington’s forests and shorelines. “The people just struck me as so friendly.”

And the job is one he said his nearly 24 years of valuable experience have well prepared him for. Being a part of law enforcement is something he said he began thinking about at the age of 12.

“I knew that I wanted to do something more exciting than what the average business position would bring,” he said. “It’s been very exciting. It was a great choice.”

Now he’s set to become a part of Poulsbo’s finest family.

“I am just honored to have been appointed to this position,” he said. “I really look forward to assisting the chief and this agency as it continues to grow and serving this community.”

The process of identifying the need for a deputy chief began under Interim Chief Jake Evans, who held the post before Swiney came to the department from Visalia in November 2007. Swiney said he and Delaney worked together intermittently for more than two decades.

Poulsbo’s department consists of 18 commissioned officers, 20 reserve officers, 3 administrative support staff and 20 citizen volunteers.

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