Moen named new top cop in Kenmore

Outgoing police chief Peter Horvath has been promoted to a captain position in the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Since Brandon Moen was a child, he wanted to be a cop. It’s an origin story sometimes repeated by those who end up wearing a police badge.

Moen was no different. He grew up idolizing local law enforcement.

However, Moen first had a minor career detour spent in engineering and planning for five years. After graduating from Eastern Washington University, he worked for a Kirkland consulting firm.

“Then I did a complete 180 and decided to pursue what had been a lifelong dream of being in law enforcement,” he said.

Moen made the career switch after he happened to move next door to a King County Sheriff’s deputy. Then came the ridealongs — which Moen said conjured the feeling of excitement. He was hooked on helping people and not knowing what the next day will bring.

He was also at a stage in his life — in terms of age — in which he figured if he didn’t make the switch then, he probably never would, he said.

Thirteen years later, Moen’s been chosen to be Kenmore’s next police chief.

Moen will replace outgoing chief Peter Horvath, who served as police chief since February 2018. The spot opened up when Horvath was promoted to the rank of captain in the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) — which contracts with the city of Kenmore to provide law enforcement services.

Kenmore city manager Rob Karlinsey selected Moen after three panels of city residents, school district representatives, council members, police officers and city staff interviewed several candidates.

“All three panels agreed that Brandon Moen was the best fit for Kenmore,” said Karlinsey. “His answers to the interview questions were professional, thoughtful and reflected the values of our community.”

Moen is currently serving as a sergeant in the KCSO for Shoreline. Before this he served the department’s southwest precinct and with Metro Transit Police.

The new chief position is a return to the Kenmore area for Moen, who, following his police academy graduation, spent his first years assigned to the city. It’s where he learned how to be a cop, he said.

He already has plans for his Kenmore return.

Moen wants to focus on strengthening the department’s bond with local businesses, schools, nonprofits and other community organizations. He hopes it’ll conjure up more positive interactions.

“Just showing up to a business or school when someone calls 911, people will only associate the police with bad things,” Moen said. “We won’t be just interacting when something goes wrong. We want officers to have interactions when things are going right.”

A start date of Nov. 16 is planned for the Moen as police chief. He said already it’s a tremendous honor to be chosen as Kenmore’s police chief.

“I don’t take [the job] lightly,” Moen said.