On Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, a local website announced in a post – which includes many claims the city says are incorrect – that Burien Police Chief Ted Boe is leaving his position to take a promotion within the King County Sheriff’s Office, his current employer.

The King County Sheriff’s Office contracts its police services with the City of Burien, and Boe has served as Police Chief since being selected in April, 2018.

The website that published the story is managed by former City Council candidate Martin Barrett, who lost his 2021 election bid to Hugo Garcia. Barrett is co-founder of SeaTac-based Sozo Gifts LLC, and is known to many residents from a March, 2021 video he appeared in where he said he wanted to “bring God’s government” to Burien. In that video, Barrett was marketing a paid seminar for the Hope Christian Community Church’s School of Supernatural Ministry.

The City of Burien said that Chief Boe announced his departure internally during a regular weekly meeting of department directors last week. He emailed a message to councilmembers that same day.

The topic of his departure came up during an invitation-only “meet and greet” event with local business owners and City Manager Adolfo Bailon. Someone at the event brought up a comment about Boe leaving. It was not announced by City Manager Bailon, and Boe was not present at the meeting.

“The blog post is critical of police services and communications efforts between the city and residents,” Bailon said in a letter.

Here’s full text of the letter sent out to Burien City Councilmembers by Bailon, which includes his corrections of several of Barrett’s claims:

Hello Council,

I write to share with you news of a blog post that was posted recently on a website titled Gem of the Sound.

The blog post is critical of police services and communications efforts between the city and residents. Below is a link to the blog post. I have also included a breakdown of topics raised in the article and corresponding facts as they may serve useful to you as you engage with residents throughout the city.

News Article: https://www.gemofthesound.com/blog/2022/09/30/chief-boe-steps-down-a-call-to-action-by-the-gem-of-the-sound

Communications: Article reports correctly that KCSO, Chief Boe’s employer, and City of Burien have not released statements about his departure. Official public notice of departure from Chief Boe  was not given until Tuesday of current week. News release will be sent out early next week, and will be coordinated with KCSO. Coordination is necessary considering that hiring of new Chief is dependent on work performed by KCSO.

Chief Boe’s Departure: Author insinuates incorrectly that Chief Boe is quitting his position within a completely independent agency in BPD to accept a position within another independent agency, KCSO. Chief Boe is, in fact, a direct employee of KCSO and is accepting a promotion within his current agency of employment.

Current Police Coverage: Author incorrectly reports that 4 deputies from Burien are on administrative leave due to recent shooting incident. The total number of Burien deputies on leave is two (2). No shifts were missed due to the absence of the two deputies on administrative leave as shifts were covered by other KCSO deputies.

Burien PD staff shortages: Burien is, in fact, short 6.8 deputies. Burien budgets for a total of 44.8 officers, but currently has a police roster of 38. KCSO is currently understaffed and has distributed equally staff shortages amongst all its contract cities. Staff shortages are being addressed by KCSO, but we do not know when the six vacancies in Burien will be filled.

Selection Process for new Chief: City staff and I have discussed process implemented when hiring Chief Boe several years ago, but have not engaged with KCSO about commencing a new process. Engagement with KCSO is planned for early next week. Initial conversations with Chief Boe and Acting Chief Morrell indicate that KCSO will work to compile list of candidates internal to KCSO that are interested in serving in Burien.

Interim Coverage: Captain Morrell has assumed role of Acting Chief. Captain Morrell was scheduled to serve in role of Acting Chief during Chief Boe’s training at FBI Academy, and prepared to assume command well before KCSO offered a promotion to Chief Boe. Captain Morrell has served in Burien under Chief Boe for many years and is very knowledgeable of issues within our community. I have spoken to front-line officers and all have expressed confidence in his leadership.

Meeting with BPD Officers: I am scheduled to visit BPD headquarters on October 11 to meet with all BPD officers. I will speak with all officers during their pre-shift briefings and plan to field questions from officers. I anticipate having a good meeting.

I will share more information as it becomes available.

AB