Bothell Police Chief Conover announces his retirement

Bothell Police Chief Forrest Conover. - COURTESY PHOTO
Bothell Police Chief Forrest Conover.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

Bothell Police Chief Forrest Conover announced that he will be retiring effective Jan. 31, 2011. He started with the Bothell Police Department as an entry level patrol officer 27 years ago and has since worked his way through every rank to become chief.

When the city hired Chief Conover in December of 1983, Bothell’s population was about 10,000 people and there were only nine officers. A quieter community then, it wasn’t uncommon for officers to chase resident Dick Truly’s cows off of Interstate 405. Bothell has grown since then through annexation and population growth and is now a city of about 33,000 with about 27,000 additional people coming into Bothell during the day for employment and education. The police department now numbers 85, including 58 commissioned officers.

Chief Conover started his law-enforcement career as a communications officer with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in 1980.

“Chief Conover has been an outstanding police chief and an extraordinary leader,” said City Manager Bob Stowe. “He will be greatly missed.”

The city will begin recruiting the next police chief in the coming months.

As for Chief Conover, he is excited to pursue other interests and may even start his own business.

“I’m thankful to have worked in a city organization where I know just about everybody by first name,” said Chief Conover. “And I’m grateful to have worked for the people of Bothell for as long as I have and also with the members of the Bothell Police Department. They are the best.”

Chief Conover is proud of the fact that Bothell maintains one of the lowest crime rates in the Eastside, which he says is due to a combination of “good police work, great community support and a little bit of good luck.”

He also mentioned two of the things that are most important to him are “that we treat people with fairness, courtesy and respect” and the police department’s tradition of giving back to the community through holiday food drives, Special Olympics support and Chief for a Day.

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