As we first reported this morning, a change at the top is imminent for West Seattle police – the Southwest Precinct is getting a new commander – though he’s not new to the precinct. Steve Paulsen, who was Operations Lieutenant at SWP when he left this January for a downtown job, has just been promoted to Captain, and will take over back here in West Seattle on October 1st. Capt. Joe Kessler, who has been running the precinct since spring 2008, is taking over as commander of the West Precinct. (He’s shown at right with Precinct Advisory Council chair Pete Spalding, from Night Out last month.) Capt. Kessler asked if we would share this thank-you letter:
Southwest Precinct Residents:
During the past two and a half years I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving as the commander of the Southwest Precinct. During this time I have been continually amazed at the incredible quality of the work done on a daily basis by the men and women of the Southwest Precinct. The ability to provide our community with quality service is due in large part to the great working relationships our officers have with all of you.
Your support of the Seattle Police Department and your officers, in particular, has helped create an environment that allows great work to be done. As I prepare to move to my new assignment at the West Precinct, I would like to take a moment to say thank you for making my tenure at the Southwest Precinct one of the most rewarding of my career. It has been a pleasure to serve your community. I look forward to assisting Captain Steve Paulsen, who will be returning to the Precinct as the new commander, as we transition during the next few weeks.
Again, thank you for your support and we look forward to continuing to provide the quality service you have grown to expect from the Southwest Precinct.
Captain Joe Kessler
While asking if we’d publish that letter, Captain Kessler said he wished he could thank everybody in the community personally. Meantime, the briefing that included news of the precinct command change also included a document that wasn’t much discussed, with additional details about the department’s future plans and priorities as new Chief John Diaz settles into the job; we’ll be reviewing that for another followup. (The full news release, with attachments, from this morning’s brief is now online here.)