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Fife selects interim police chief

// Search for permanent replacement underway

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Fife Police Department Assistant Chief David Woods has been named as interim police chief while the City of Fife searches for a replacement for former Chief Mark Mears.

“Interim Chief Woods has been with the city for 27 years and perfectly complements the great strides the department has made, making him a natural choice to lead the department through this transition,” Fife City Manager Subir Mukerjee said in a press statement.

Woods has served the city as assistant chief since 2014, but has been a part of Fife for much longer, serving in positions as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and commander over the years.

“Interim Chief Woods has been, and continues to be, extremely dedicated to the success of the organization and our future endeavors,” Mukerjee said.

Woods is replacing Mears, who accepted a new position as deputy director for South Sound 911 last September, and Woods officially took over the position on Nov.1. Mears served the city since 2006, spearheading several initiatives including leading the department in a five-year strategic plan, establishing a path for the future and becoming instrumental in continuing to develop the cities police force and giving the team a clear direction.

“Leading the Fife Police Department has been a highlight of my long career in law enforcement. While I will miss the department and staff greatly, I am excited to take this next step toward my professional goals,” Mears Said.

Whomever the city selects as a permanent chief will have a difficult role to fill, as the city hopes it will be someone whose leadership skills are comparable to what Mears showed.

“Mark is an outstanding asset to Fife and our police department. His dedication and leadership have been integral in changing the department for the better,” Mukerjee said. “We will miss him greatly, but happy that he will be continuing to serve Piece County through South Sound 911.”

The deadline for submitting an application is Nov. 12, with interviews planned to take place in early December. Mukerjee said that the new chief should be someone with a proven record of integrity, strong leadership and the management, community outreach and interpersonal skills to drive the Fife Police Department forward. The new chief will be someone who can advance the city’s community policing initiative, wherein officers work with citizens.

Pick up upcoming issues of the Fife Free Press or visit the city of Fife website at to get updates on the search.