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New Snohomish Police Chief announced, Rogers out

SNOHOMISH — On Monday afternoon, the city and the sheriff's office announced Captain Robert Palmer as the city's new interim police chief for approximately 90 days, effective Monday.
Lt. Keith Rogers will be moved elsewhere within the sheriff's office.  
"At this moment in time, I believe reassigning Lt. Rogers is in the best interest of our community and our agency," Sheriff Adam Fortney said in a news release.
Rogers faced public calls to resign in response to the events Sunday, May 31.
As of Sunday, Rogers was still the chief, a sheriff's office spokeswoman said by email Sunday in response to an inquiry after rumors Rogers was fired after the events Sunday, May 31. The Tribune's press time is Monday morning.
The sheriff's office said through a news release that Palmer has lived in the Snohomish community for 25 years.
"Palmer’s most recent assignments were as the Sheriff’s Office Contract Division Commander and the Investigations Division Commander," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "He also served as the administrative sergeant for Stanwood Police Department from 2005 to 2009, served as the Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit Commander from 2009 to 2013, and as the South Precinct Commander from 2013 to 2016, before being promoted to Captain."
The news release was a joint announcement from the city and the sheriff's office.
“I am confident that Captain Palmer will serve and lead the residents of the City of Snohomish through this difficult time in our history,” Fortney said in the news release.
Rogers became police chief in 2017 after taking over for Captain John Flood when Flood advanced in the sheriff's office.
Mayor John Kartak, who on Saturday posted to social media addressing rumors Rogers was fired, complimented Rogers in Monday's announcement.
"Chief Rogers created the first ever Community Outreach Officer in our city,” Kartak said in the joint city-sheriff's office news release, “During the past three years, he focused on homeless outreach, the Opioid epidemic, and numerous Community Policing based programs, prioritized pedestrian safety, and brought regional and state wide police officers together for advanced professional training and development. Chief Rogers has provided outstanding leadership and exemplary service to the City of Snohomish and will be deeply missed.”
The Community Outreach Officer position within the city currently is unfilled. When it was filled by Deputy Rich Niebusch, his dual roles were to assist homeless and in-crisis individuals and serve as a resource to neighborhoods and other groups.
The City of Snohomish disbanded its independent police department at the end of 2011 to have the department operations handled by the sheriff's office as a contracted service.

Tribune archive materials are included in this report.



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