Seattle Police Assistant Chief Bob Merner is leaving to become the police chief in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Before he came to Seattle in 2015, Merner was the top homicide detective for the Boston Police Department, where he served for 28 years. Merner ran the crime scene the day of the Boston Marathon bombing and eventually helped capture and arrest Dzhokar Tsarnaev, one of the bombers.
"This news is bittersweet," Merner said in a released statement Friday. "I am proud of the men and women of the Seattle Police Criminal Investigations Bureau. Your relentless pursuit of criminals has reduced crime, making Seattle a better place for those who live and work here. I appreciate the opportunity that Chief Kathy O’Toole has given me. While I won’t be cheering for the Seahawks, I will miss Seattle and will take with me lifelong friendships."
Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole announced Merner's departure Friday:
"It is with mixed emotions that I announce that Assistant Chief Robert Merner has been offered a job as police chief of the Portsmouth Police Department in New Hampshire. I couldn’t be more proud of Chief Merner. He has effectively led the Criminal Investigations Bureau for the last two years, building relationships with our communities, as well as our local, state and federal police partners. Under Chief Merner’s leadership, we launched our Real Time Crime Center and expanded our data-driven efforts to address crime and disorder in our city. He will take the experience he gained in Seattle and Boston to the Portsmouth Police Department.
Chief Merner is also a new grandfather. With his family still in New England, this chief executive position will bring him closer to his first home.
Chief Merner will remain with Seattle Police for another month. During this time, Chief Merner will support transition efforts and assist in selecting his successor."