University Place selects new police chief

The City of University Place has announced Mike Blair, a sergeant with the city’s police department, has been selected as the new police chief. He began working in that role on Monday.

As part of the City of University Place’s contract with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Paul Pastor made the final decision based on recommendations from a joint panel and team from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the City of University Place. The joint selection panel forwarded three final candidates: Lt. Jerry Lawrence, Pierce County Contract Chief Bill Cassio, and Sgt. Mike Blair for final selection.

“All of the candidates under consideration showed tremendous talent and strength,” said Sheriff Pastor. “Mike Blair will do an excellent job for the City of University Place.”

Blair is not new to the community. He has been an active leader in the University Place Police Department, working on the creation of the department’s budget and addressing University Place City Council about their funding and staffing. He created partnerships with business districts and neighborhood watch programs as well as joined with established partnerships such as the multi-jurisdictional crime reduction program. Blair has served as a member of Sheriff Pastor’s Strategic Initiative Team and on his Board of Professional Standards. His awards include the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Medal of Merit and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2010.

“We were so fortunate to have a number of very qualified and highly skilled applicants who applied and sought the position,” said University Place City Manager Steve Sugg. “The City had an outstanding pool of great talent to choose from.”

“I am looking forward to the continued partnership with the City and the Sheriff’s Department over the next decade to continue to provide high level professionalism and quality response to crime in the City of University Place,” said Blair.