New police chief starts job in Tacoma

On Tuesday, Chief Avery Moore assumed his new role as Police Chief for the city of Tacoma.

Moore previously worked as the Assistant Chief of Police for the Investigation Bureau for the Dallas Police Department.

When Moore first got the position, he said in a statement, "I am honored to be confirmed by the City Council for this position." He added, "we have an opportunity today to build on prior successes, while reimagining and reinvigorating the Tacoma Police Department in an ever-evolving public safety landscape. I am confident that, in partnership with our community, the Tacoma Police Department can become a model of public safety excellence based on fairness for all."

RELATED: Police investigating deadly shooting in Tacoma

Some think Moore is stepping into a very challenging position.

"He’s got some big shoes to fill right now. The city is in a bad place," said Tisha Marie, founder of the non-profit Legally Black. 

Over the last two years, Tacoma has faced several challenges with policing. In 2020, there was a focus on rebuilding relations between police and the community following several high-profile cases, including the death of Manny Ellis while in TPD custody.

In 2021, the focus was on the increasing numbers in several areas of crime.

Comparing the numbers between the same time period (Jan. 1–Dec. 12) for both 2020 and 2021 there are several areas of concern.

According to the numbers, Arsons are up 80.2%. 

Assaults are up 19.6%.

Stolen vehicles are up 63%.

And the city saw the same number of homicides, 31 total, in both 2020, and 2021. Thirty-one is the highest number of homicides the Tacoma has had in decades.

Tisha Marie has worked to bring change in the city of Tacoma for years. She has been involved with several efforts with TPD including negotiations of union contracts, as well as the opportunity to meet and speak with each of the finalist for Chief of Police.

Marie says she is hopeful Moore will bring change.

"If you have somebody who is not from the area, who doesn’t have a personal connection with these officers. He can come in and say, ‘this is what we’re doing moving forward. Whether or not we’re friends, this is what we need for our community.’ And there is no bias there. And I think that’s what we needed," she said.

FOX 13 News has requested the opportunity to interview Chief Moore. Tacoma Police say Moore will speak to us, but have not given a specific date.

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