David Brame new chief of Tacoma Police Department

It’s going to be a happy new year for David Brame, a 20-year veteran of the Tacoma Police Department who was named the department’s new police chief. He will take over effective Jan. 14.

City Manager Ray E. Corpuz, Jr., announced his selection of Brame during a news conference Friday. Brame will replace Chief James Hairston, who announced in July that he would retire after more than 33 years with the department.

“David is a trusted insider who’s committed to Tacoma,” Corpuz said. “He’s risen up successfully through the ranks and has earned respect and support at all levels. I expect him to be a unifying force in the department.”

Brame, 43, was one of two finalists for the position along with Patrick Stevens, deputy chief of the Cleveland Police Department.

Three panels comprised of city department directors; unions representing employees in the police department; and representatives from law enforcement, health care and business interviewed the candidates Dec. 13.

Both candidates answered questions at a citizen forum the same day. Corpuz conducted one-on-one interviews Dec. 14.

Brame has served as assistant chief since 1999. He manages the Operations Bureau, which includes the patrol functions, 250 staff and a $22.5 million annual budget. Brame has served in all the bureaus of the department, including:

n Captain and commander of the criminal investigations division from 1997 to 1999.

n Lieutenant and internal affairs commander from 1996 to 1997.

n Commander of the Sector 4 (East Side) substation from 1995 to 1996.

Brame also has worked as a patrol officer, patrol sergeant, field training officer, crime prevention officer and public school liaison officer.

Brame served for six years as vice president and chief contract negotiator for the police union Local 6, which includes patrol officers. Corpuz said that Brame’s respect as a former union leader should help considering Tacoma is heading toward contract arbitration with Local 6.

In addition, a performance audit conducted on the department earlier this year recommended scores of ways to improve department operations, and Corpuz believes Brame has the backing within the department to make those improvements.

“David can take charge as necessary and work from within because he knows the department so well and the department supports him. He will have that advantage,” Corpuz said.

Brame earned a BA in public administration from the University of Puget Sound. He has earned certificates in first-line, mid-level and executive-level supervision from the Washington State Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Academy and FBI National Academy. Brame received the Tacoma Police Department’s Award of Merit for outstanding performance on a policy development project.

The News Tribune selected him as one of the top 20 people to watch in the new millennium in the South Puget Sound area.

The salary range for the police chief’s position is $87,027 to $134,992. The department – with a biennial budget of $102 million – employs 378 sworn officers and 42 non-commissioned personnel.