police chief

From left are chief candidates Charles Goeken, Steven Taylor and David Westrick. 

LYNDEN ­— The city held a reception to let staff and community stakeholders meet and mingle with the top three finalist candidates for the position of police chief at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in City Hall Annex, 205 Fourth St.

Each candidate had up to 10 minutes to address the collective group.

Anyone present could provide general written feedback to the city regarding the candidates. With any questions on this process, contact Kara Turner, Turner HR Services, at 360-739-5531 or kara@turnerhrservices.com.

The Lynden Police Chief finalists, in alphabetical order by last name, are:

Charles Goeken, a police captain and services division commander for the City of Manteca, California, population 79,000.

Steven Taylor, assistant police chief for the City of Searcy, Arkansas, population 24,000.

David Westrick, police chief of the City of Hollister, California, population 38,000.

The position became open when John Billester retired last summer after about two years in it, but he had an overall 42-year career in law enforcemet. He had taken over in 2016 from Jack Foster, who in all spent 28 years with the Lynden Police Department.

Michael Knapp, a former Ferndale police chief and also a veteran of decades in law enforcement, was filling in as interim chief until the permanent appointment is made.

The trio who are interested in Lynden have been on their own career paths including some other searching around, an online check of media accounts shows.

In March of this year, Goeken was one of five candidates in the running  to become police chief of Port Orchard, Washington.  And just in September, he was also a finalist for the city of Washougal’s police chief position. 

A year ago, Taylor, assistant police chief of Searcy, Arkansas, and a lawman already for 28 years, was named to head his department until a new chief was chosen to replace retiring Eric Webb.

Westrick announced his departure as chief from the Hollister police department via a blog post. In an interview in March 2019 he noted that he was nearing 30 years in California law enforcement and would be eligible to retire soon if he chose to do so.

City Administrator Mike Martin said Monday that on Wednesday, Nov. 6, two separate panels will have time with each of the candidates. Recommendations will be made to Mayor Scott Korthuis, also sitting in on the panels, for a final decision.