City of Washougal releases names of four candidates for police chief

Community reception scheduled for Tuesday evening

WASHOUGAL — The city of Washougal has invited members of the community to meet the four candidates seeking to replace retiring Police Chief Ron Mitchell at a community reception to be held at the Black Pearl on the Columbia at 6:30 p.m. Tue., Sept. 17. 

The Black Pearl is located at 56 S. 1st Street, near the Port of Camas-Washougal marina and offices. The reception will provide an opportunity for the community to informally meet and hear from each of the candidates. The community reception will follow a series of interview panels with city and community leaders, and a reception for police department employees.   

The four candidates are:

Marc Denney, chief, La Center Police Department — Denney has over 33 years of progressive law enforcement experience, including the last six years as chief with the city of La Center, a community of approximately 3,200 residents, where he also resides. Prior to coming to La Center, he served 23 years with the Cochise County (AZ) Sheriff’s Office, holding leadership positions in a variety of roles as sergeant, lieutenant, deputy commander and commander. Denney holds an MPA in Justice Administration and a BS from Wayland Baptist University in Ft. Huachuca, AZ.  

Charles Goeken, captain, Manteca (CA) Police Department — Goeken has 25 years of progressive law enforcement experience with the city of Manteca in California, a community of approximately 79,000 residents. During the last 10 years he has held the position of captain serving as both the Operations Division commander and the Services Division commander, the position he currently holds. He has held prior leadership positions in a variety of roles as sergeant and lieutenant. Goeken holds a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and a BS from the University of New York Regents College in Albany, NY. He previously served as planning commissioner, council member and mayor for the city of Waterford in California, where he resides. 

Wendi Steinbronn, commander, Portland Police Bureau — Steinbronn has over 25 years of progressive law enforcement experience with the Portland Police Bureau. She has been the acting commander and commander of North Precinct since June 2018, with 13 years of prior leadership positions in a variety of roles as sergeant, lieutenant, acting captain and captain. Steinbronn holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Portland State University in Portland, OR. She resides in Camas. 

Steve Taylor, assistant chief, Searcy (AR) Police Department — Taylor has over 28 years of progressive law enforcement experience, including 14 years as an officer in Michigan and since 2004 with the city of Searcy in Arkansas, a community of approximately 24,000 residents, where he resides. For the last four years he has held the position of assistant chief, with prior leadership positions in a variety of roles as lieutenant and captain. Taylor holds Juris Doctor (JD) and BA degrees from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, AR.  

Earlier this year, Chief Mitchell announced his retirement effective in late November. Mitchell has served Washougal as chief since 2009. He started his career with the Washougal Police Department in 1996.   City Manager David Scott will appoint a new chief, who is expected to start in early December. 

Information provided by city of Washougal.

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