#189 Chief Olson: PT Police Department’s Main Man

(Airdate: November 16, 2021) Our Town host Maryanne McNellis interviews Chief Thomas Olson, Port Townsend’s new Chief of Police. After a stint in the military, Chief Olson joined the Washington State Police. He was still a young man when he “retired” after 25 years with the state police. He wanted more from his career. So he hit pause and went back to school, earning three associate’s degrees, and both a bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. When he returned to police work, it was in an entirely different direction. He joined the police force at the University of Washington, rising through the ranks to become deputy chief. About 75,000 people are on campus any given day. Chief Olson thinks many of the skills he honed dealing with students and nuanced campus issues will help him with his job in Port Townsend. He’s only been on the job a few months now. But he has an ambitious agenda that includes more citizen advisory positions. In his off hours, Chief Olson moonlights as an assistant coach for his son’s 8th grade football team at Blue Heron.