SeaTac Police Chief Mulligan leaves to join top command staff of new Sheriff


By Jack Mayne

SeaTac Police Chief Lisa Mulligan was given the key to SeaTac at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting because she is leaving the city to join the top command staff of new King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht when she takes office in January.

Mulligan, a major in he King County Sheriff’s Office, said she was happy about her appointment but sad to leave the city.

She was selected in 2013 as Police Chief in SeaTac to replace James Graddon, who retired after serving for over six years.

Mulligan is a 32 year veteran of the King County Sheriff’s Office. Previously she served as the contract chief of Metro Transit Police, assistant commander of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center, and spent much of her career patrolling the southwest area of King County as a deputy and sergeant.

Councilmember Erin Sitterley said she has done a “tremendous job leading our police force. I never hear more than ‘we love Lisa, we love Lisa.’”

Retiring Councilmember Tony Anderson, attending his last session of the Council, and himself a retiree of the Port of Seattle Police, said Mulligan “is one of those rare people who can “speak nicely, speak gently, speak engagingly but still with authority.”

Deputy Mayor Pam Fernald said she was one of the Councilmembers who first interviewed her, and “it has been a pleasure and I wish you all the best.”

City Manager Joe Scorcio said he was on the selection committee when she was chosen from candidates presented by the Sheriff’s office.

“There was no question in my mind that she was the right choice for the city,” he said, adding the biggest loss was going to be her absence. “I am personally honored to be part of your entourage and I will continue to be a very, very strong supporter of you as you move up into the higher ranks of the Sheriff’s department.”

Mulligan, he said, will be one of the four people whom new Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht trusts highly to run the “very, very large organization and our Chief Lisa is one of those … it is a very big deal.”

“You can’t engage with the community without people willing to engage with you and that is what I found here in SeaTac and think that is what our officers encounter here in SeaTac. We so appreciate that. Every single thing that looked like I implemented that, there were 40 men and women standing behind me willing to do that — talented people we bring here because we know that they are going to be able to serve this community the way they do,” Mulligan said, adding she grew up in SeaTac and got her first job there.


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