EVERSON - Packed city council meetings usually mean there are hotly debated issues on the agenda.
But in Everson, family, friends, law enforcement officials and community members filled the seats Tuesday night, March 12, to welcome a new police chief in a ceremony marked by smiles, hugs, handshakes and a few tears.
Dan MacPhee sat off to the side as Mayor John Perry recalled how then-police sergeant MacPhee stepped up to fill the position after longtime and beloved chief Erik Ramstead died Jan. 15 from cancer. Perry conducted the swearing-in ceremony to make MacPhee chief of the small department.
Amy Ramstead, widow of Erik, then stepped up to pin MacPhee with the chief's badge, tears filling her eyes. She gave him a name plate with his new title. Ramstead's daughters, Western Washington University students Lauren and Erika, cried as they watched.
The meeting was paused so MacPhee could be congratulated by the audience, which included representatives of the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office and the Lynden, Everson and Nooksack police departments.