Mark Mears might be settling into his new role as Fife’s police chief but he is neither a stranger to the city nor to law enforcement. He has worked in Fife for seven years and has more than 20 years of police experience that include federal, city and rural posts.
“I have been in law enforcement for 25 years and really, all my previous law enforcement experience provides a solid foundation for my position as Fife Chief of Police,” he said. “I have worked in multiple roles from patrol to investigations, operations and administration; in various settings from very rural communities, heavy urban residential communities, and business settings such as Fife. Each has its own nuances and has contributed to the knowledge, skills and abilities that I carry into my role as the chief.”
Mears has been a federal marshal in Idaho, an operations lieutenant in Sumner and a SWAT member. What makes Mears particularly interesting is that he has a master’s degree in business administration as well as a master’s degree in public administration, which feeds well into his new role as a money cruncher for the department as well as its stand-alone jail operations.
“I have a background in business, and while challenging at times, functioning as the CEO for the department and dealing with such things as personnel, budget, operations and support of the city initiatives is something that I am accustom to. During my time here, I have met and worked with the community on many issues. As the face of the department, I want to be at the front of continued support of the wide variety of community events that we participate in and are associated with, continue to work in the schools, as well as continue our outreach to the business community.”
That business mind will start on a five-year strategic plan to get the department accredited and trained following the new departmental manual and continue to keep the Fife jail from drawing law enforcement dollars away from patrol funds. Overlapping that is the department’s transition to the South Sound 911 emergency dispatch partnership in the next year, the addition of new technology for evidence gathering and tracking as well as the implementations of changes suggested from the community survey process that started three years ago.
Fife has a department of 31 officers to patrol the streets that boom to 35,000 people during the day only to shrink to about 9,000 a night.