Mayor Armondo Pavone has appointed Jon Schuldt as Chief of the Renton Police Department. Chief Schuldt has served as the department’s interim chief since Dec. 1, 2020. The Renton City Council unanimously concurred with the mayor’s appointment during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Oct. 11.
“Chief Schuldt has spent many years serving the Renton community and has built relationships with community leaders and members as both a patrol officer and as a member of the command staff,” said Mayor Pavone. “During his time as the interim chief, he initiated several training programs and a community-focused approach that benefits both our residents and his officers.”
Among the initiatives Chief Schuldt has introduced:
-Mental Health Program Navigator: In partnership with South King County cities, and with the assistance of HB1590 funds, the police department has established a program combining a mental health navigator with a police officer to help address mental health issues in our community.
-Body Worn Cameras: The department is in the process of implementing Renton’s first body-worn camera program.
-Chief’s Advisory Board: The board will bring community members into discussing how the department will communicate, train, and partner with the community to enforce the law. The steering committee has recently met.
-Operation Safe Place: An idea first suggested by the Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force and started under the direction of Chief Schuldt. The program registers businesses, corporations, social service organizations, schools and government agencies. It helps them become an area where victims of hate crimes can receive assistance.
-Active legislation and policy change: This year, the state legislature passed several police-related pieces of legislation; the department quickly adopted and adapted and provided immediate training to ensure compliance with the new laws.
-Use of less-lethal methods: Renton police utilize a state-of-the-art virtual trainer to decrease the use of force. Renton officers annually have one of the lowest use of force applications than many other South King County cities.
-Hiring diversity: Over the past year, 45% of hires have been people of color.
“Coffee with a Cop” and Renton African American Pastoral group (RAAP) are two community-based programs Chief Schuldt helped develop. Both allow community members to talk directly with police command staff and officers in a community setting.
“I am very humbled and appreciative of the mayor and the council’s confidence in my ability to serve as your police chief,” said Chief Schuldt. “It’s been my honor and privilege to serve our community and work with an outstanding department for the past 26 years. As your chief, I will continue to build confidence between our community and our police department.”
Chief Schuldt joined Renton Police Department as a patrol officer in 1995 and moved to the K-9 Unit in 1999. In 2006, he earned a promotion to sergeant in the patrol division. In 2011 he was assigned to supervise the special enforcement team. Chief Schuldt earned a promotion to North Sector Commander in 2014 and was appointed Deputy Chief in January 2018.