Arlington City Council approves hiring of new police chief

New Arlington Police Chief Nelson Beazley smiles as he shakes hands with City Council member Chris Raezer on Sept. 7. - Adam Rudnick
New Arlington Police Chief Nelson Beazley smiles as he shakes hands with City Council member Chris Raezer on Sept. 7.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — Less than two years ago, Nelson Beazley was a finalist for the open Arlington police chief position.

Now, the job is his.

On Sept. 7, the City Council approved an employment agreement with Beazley to take over as chief less than three weeks after current Police Chief Robert Sullenberger announced his resignation.

Beazley, a former captain in the Fresno County, Calif., Sheriff's Office, will begin serving in the new position Sept. 20.

Arlington City Administrator Allen Johnson said during the Council meeting that the negotiating and hiring process began at the end of August, when Johnson had heard that Beazley had moved up to Washington state and was being considered for the open chief position in the Battle Ground, Wash., Police Department.

Beazley met with Johnson on Aug. 30, to begin negotiations. By Sept. 3, Johnson contacted members of the previous hiring board to recommend the Beazley for the position.

"It's almost miraculous that we got this all done so fast," Johnson said.

Beazley and his wife, Arlene, were on hand during the Council meeting to meet members of the Council.

Beazley has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years. In addition to being a 2006 graduate for the FBI National Academy, he has a degree in criminology from California State University at Fresno.

His salary will be $121,944 a year.

Beazley was one of six finalists to interview for the vacant position in December 2008. The city hiring committee eventually decided to hire Sullenberger, who informed city administration in August that he would be returning to Colorado for family reasons.

Prior to serving as Arlington Police Chief, Sullenberger had spent his entire 32-year career with the Boulder Police Department.

Sullenberger has accepted a job as Division Chief with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

Despite the city welcoming Beazley during the Sept. 7 meeting, members of the Arlington Police Department, as well as city administrators and Council members, praised Sullenberger's efforts during his year and a half on the job.

"Sulley, in the short time he's been here, he's made some changes for the better, and I'm sure all of these officers would agree with me," said Johnson, pointing to about a dozen officers in attendance.

Mayor Margaret Larson gave Sullenberger a plaque for his work with the police department, while his fellow officers presented him with a scale model of an Arlington police car.

"In the short time I've been here, the support has been phenomenal," Sullenberger said. "It has truly been my honor."

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