New police chief sworn into duty

Renton’s new police chief Ed VanValey was sworn in by Mayor Denis Law Monday, Oct. 1 at the city council meeting.

The meeting featured the presentation of the colors by the Renton police department honor guard, Law swearing in VanValey and a speech from the new police chief. After being sworn in, Renton police and honor guard in attendance saluted VanValey.

VanValey spoke at the meeting about being raised in Renton and being interested in law enforcement after an 11th-grade project on Renton Police Department. He said while working at the Renton parks department part-time, he observed Renton officers.

He attended university for law and justice, knowing it wasn’t required but might offer an advantage, and joined the military. He talked about the process from parks department employee to police officer. He also discussed the complexity of modern law enforcement agencies and the Renton police department’s commitment to new technologies.

“In the climate of today, law enforcement agencies are working hard to build trust and transparency with their communities. Some do it because they have to, Renton does it because we want to,” VanValey said.

“I truly love and respect each member of the Renton police department,” he continued. “With your support and guidance, you have created the finest police department in the region. This is not just something I feel or say, it is proven.”

He highlighted the department’s use of technology, front counter employees, high staffing levels of officers thanks to new programs, and tough investigations of officer-involved incidents.

VanValey also recognized his mother Jo Ann VanValey, who attended the meeting, for raising him in Renton while working as a registered nurse at Valley Medical Center in a graveyard shift.

The retiring Police Chief Kevin Milosevich had a reception on his last day Friday, Sept. 28 in city hall where he received gifts and commemorative honors from both the police and city of Renton. The room was packed with over 90 people in attendance, and catering from Chuck’s Donuts.

VanValey, Mayor Law, Port of Seattle Chief Rod Covey, and representatives from Renton Police Officers Guild, SCORE and Renton African American Pastoral group, all presented and spoke at the reception recognizing Milosevich.

“Chief Kevin Milosevich was the first commander I met, and immediately impressed me,” VanValey said at his Monday swearing-in. “I never would have imagined he would change my life when he appointed me deputy police chief 15 years later. Thanks, chief, thank you for the support, guidance and friendship.”

Councilmember Don Persson spoke at the Sept. 24 council meeting about both Milosevich and VanValey.

“Both have been outstanding employees, police officers and members of our community for what they’ve done outside of the job,” Persson said. “I couldn’t be prouder of both of them, but I’m especially proud of Ed. He joined the Parks department when he was 16 years old, and now he’s going to be our next police chief.”