Theodore Boe, Burien’s new Police Chief
Captain Theodore Boe took the reigns of the Burien Police Department this month.
His first day as the city’s police chief was Tuesday, May 1, and he’s still unpacking his boxes in his new office.
Boe has 18 years experience with King County Sheriff’s Office and has spent some of his career in Burien already.
“It’s such a cool community—the diversity, the small town feel, while being a big city at the same time,” he said.
His wife Marci is an elementary school teacher, and the couple has two children Harley and Amelia, ages 8 and 5.
Boe looks forward to learning more about Burien and how to best serve as police chief in the city.
“It’s about serving Burien,” he said. “Burien wants different things, and police have to tailor to those interests. It’s going to be a challenge, and it’s going to be fun.”
Boe said being in law enforcement keeps him on his toes. “There’s always good work to do,” he said.
His top goals are fighting crime in a data-driven method and building relationships with the community.
“It’s so powerful when someone knows your name,” he said. “I want every single kid in the community to know the name of at least one officer.”
Boe also hopes to elevate the police department in Burien, to make officers more visible and more embedded in the city.
“I want people to know who their police department is,” he said. “It’s about breaking down barriers. The biggest challenge for me is getting the message out about what the police department does, who we are and all the good work we do.”
Originally from Wisconsin, Boe moved to the Pacific Northwest with his family when he was in seventh grade. He attended junior high and high school in Federal Way, before heading to the University of Washington to study business in 1994.
“I had no interest in law enforcement at all,” Boe admitted.
A security job, accepted on a whim, would end up changing his mind and his career path.
He served as a guard at Crossroads Bellevue, a shopping center. “It was the first time I had any interaction with the police,” he said. “There was some mentoring going on there. And the rest is kind of history.”
Boe switched from the business track to testing for work at the King County Sheriff’s Office. He started in the unincorporated northern parts of the county and then became a dedicated officer in Carnation.
“It was great, small town policing,” he said. “You know everyone in town.”
Then Boe served as a patrol officer in Sammamish. “It’s another amazing community, with different needs, different wants,” he said. “It’s fun as a police officer to find out the needs of each community and see how I can fill those needs.”
He stayed at the post for four years and served as a field training officer, before being promoted to sergeant in Burien. A year later, he served as sergeant for the city of SeaTac.
In 2014, Boe advanced to captain for Precinct 4, where he coordinated detectives in property crimes, the gang unit and special emphasis teams, as well as civilian staff members.
In 2016, Boe became captain of the Major Investigations Section. He has also served as officer in charge at CenturyLink Field since 2013.
“I’ve had the most amazing ride, nothing but cool opportunities,” Boe said.
He is proudest of his outreach efforts with youth. “We should all work together, because we all want healthy, productive youth,” he said.
Boe received a “Commanders Award” for his creation of the SeaTac Explorer Post, a program for teens interested in exploring law enforcement.
He also was honored with a Commanders Award for the implementation of active shooter response training. In addition, he received a “Live Savers Award” for a drowning intervention.
Boe was one of five candidates for the position of Burien Police Chief to replace Scott Kimerer.
City Manager Brian Wilson was charged with selecting the best fit for Burien. City staff organized a public engagement process, which included seven public events and an online survey.
Wilson said the community’s feedback informed his decisions.
“Even with the really diverse groups we talked to, they all wanted the same thing,” he said. “They wanted a relationship with the police. They wanted to know their police officers more. They wanted the police to be a part of their community and not separate from it.”
In addition, residents wanted a chief who communicated openly with them, Wilson said.
He thought Boe fit the bill perfectly. “Even in the time that he’s been here, he’s been extremely responsive,” Wilson said. “I’m really happy with him.”