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Avery Moore becomes next Tacoma police chief

Moore currently works as assistant chief of police for the Investigations Bureau in Dallas. He replaces Don Ramsdell, who retired in December 2020.

TACOMA, Wash. — Avery Moore is the new chief of the Tacoma Police Department.

Moore was confirmed as the new police chief by the Tacoma City Council on Tuesday. He was previously selected by Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli, with Mayor Victoria Woodards confirming Pauli's selection.

Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker called the confirmation a "monumental moment" as the city works to transform policing in Tacoma.

After his confirmation, Moore said he was "grateful and humble" for the opportunity. Though the city has challenges, he said those challenges can be turned into opportunities. 

"Can't wait to get to work," he said.

Moore came from the Dallas Police Department where he served as assistant chief of police for the Investigations Bureau. He started his career in Dallas and has held several leadership roles, according to Tacoma.

Moore and the other finalists faced a long recruitment process that saw them take questions and answers from not only the city council but also the public.

When asked about recruiting a diverse workforce on Nov. 17, Moore said that TPD should be a “microcosm” of the community. Questioned about recent state legislation limiting police pursuits, Moore said the new rules don’t limit officers, explaining, “We still make arrests of the people that need to be arrested. We still pursue the people that need to be pursued.”

Tacoma has been searching for a new police chief for about a year after Don Ramsdell retired in December 2020. He had served as chief since 2003.

He announced his retirement in July 2020 amid calls for police reform following Manuel Ellis’ death, who died while in the custody of three Tacoma officers. The incident occurred just weeks before the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer sparked worldwide protests.

The three officers involved in Ellis’ death have been charged, two with murder and one with manslaughter.

Moore takes over the department from interim Chief Mike Ake.

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