The Southwest Precinct‘s second-in-command, Lt. Steve Paulsen, is heading east. Precinct Captain Joe Kessler made the announcement at last night’s Precinct CItizens Advisory Council meeting: Lt. Paulsen (10/09 photo at right) is joining the downtown-based West Precinct in March; current second-watch commander Lt. Norm James will take over the Southwest Precinct Operations role; and Lt. Ron Rasmussen will come to West Seattle to fill the resulting second-watch (morning/afternoon) vacancy. Capt. Kessler tells WSB this isn’t the result of any sort of shakeup – there’s been a vacancy at the West Precinct, and Lt. Paulsen seems right for the job, not only because he spent four years as a watch commander there before, but also because he has a deep background in the kind of logistics experience you need in that area, with special events – from parades to protests – requiring strategic staffing and protection plans. Though Lt. James will take over the Operations role shortly and Lt. Rasmussen arrives next week, Capt. Kessler says Lt. Paulsen won’t be leaving the SW Precinct immediately – he’s there until early March “helping with the transition and doing special project work.” He adds that he’s worked before with Lt. Rasmussen, who has been working most recently at headquarters downtown, focused on special projects such as the Neighborhood Policing Plan. What does all this mean to you? Probably not much – but since Lt. Paulsen has been a highly public face of the precinct, attending meetings and providing information for many of the stories we check out, we thought you’d want to know. Thanks to Pete Spalding, who leads the Precinct Citizens Advisory Council, for first word of last night’s announcement; Capt. Kessler mentioned another bit of news from last night’s meeting – 34th District Democrats chair Tim Nuse attended to present him with a card and letter thanking local police for their service – the captain says that was “heartwarming.”
Next public meeting at the precinct is a week and a half away – West Seattle Crime Prevention Council at 7 pm Tuesday, Jan. 19 – if you’re got questions about the precinct changes, including not only this but also the city-attorney change we reported earlier this week (followup still in the works), be there!