Mayor names Bellingham’s new top cop

Chief David Doll
Chief David Doll Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Police has a new chief.

David Doll, who currently is deputy chief, will assume the position Dec. 1 – Chief Clifford Cook is set to retire Nov. 30.

Mayor Kelli Linville offered the job to Doll Thursday, citing her biggest concerns as continuity and gaps within the department.

“Continuity in the department is important to me, and Dave has a great reputation within the department and in our community,” Linville said. “We went through an extensive search for a chief five years ago, and since then, Chief Cook has established a strong legacy in the department. BPD has a Strategic Plan that lays out the roadmap for the department’s future, and I know Dave will carry on the good work put into place by Chief Cook. Choosing an internal candidate for the position – a person who I have worked closely with – is my preferred way to ensure that we continue in the right direction.”

Linville said the appointment for police chief is a direct hire done by the mayor’s office and does not need to meet any requirements or a full approval by City Council. She said she chose not to do a national search, as was done for Cook, because she felt Doll would do the job well, especially having Cook as his mentor.

“I didn’t see a reason to go out on a national search when I believe that an internal person who has quite a history with Bellingham would do as good a job as anyone we bring in,” Linville said. “I wanted continuity and no gaps and so that was why I made the decision as thoughtfully and quickly as I did.”

Doll started with Bellingham Police in 1980 as an explorer cadet and was hired as a commissioned officer in 1984, according to a news release from the city. He has been deputy chief for the past 12 years.

Doll attended Sehome High School, Whatcom Community College, Western Washington University and Columbia College. He also is a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command.

“Our police department is truly ‘committed to community,’ and Chief Doll takes that commitment seriously. I look forward to working with him in the years to come,” Linville said.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt