University Place will say goodbye to Police Chief Greg Premo in June when he retires from a 29-year career in public service. His departure comes just weeks after the community voted to support a public safety levy that will bring much-needed additional patrol officers to the City.
For the better part of the last 18 months, Chief Premo tirelessly drafted countless e-mails, attended neighborhood meetings, facilitated public safety forums and hosted monthly conversations with the community to ensure citizens had access to their Chief. He spoke over and over again about the public safety staffing challenges U.P. faced given its last-place rank among cities in Washington State for number of officers per 1,000 residents.
In addition to his efforts to secure public support for additional patrol officers in U.P., Chief Premo also led the UPPD through the challenges of the pandemic as well as the repercussions of civil unrest that led to heightened scrutiny of police work.
Chief Premo launched his career in law enforcement with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in 1994. He spent time in University Place early in his career as a deputy, returning in 2010 as a patrol sergeant before being named chief of police in 2019. Chief Premo also served as a handler for K9 Ferro, served in the Marine Services Unit, the Civil Division, and was the director of public safety and the contract chief for Pacific Lutheran University before coming to University Place.
“There is simply no way to adequately thank Chief Premo for what he has done for the City of University Place,” said Mayor Steve Worthington. “There are others who, knowing retirement was looming, might have decided to ‘just phone it in.’ Chief Premo did the exact opposite. He refused to give up the fight for more funding to secure additional public safety personnel and is leaving us in a position to enjoy greater safety and security. He has led with dignity and professionalism. I truly hope people will stop when they see him to thank him personally for all he has done for our community.”
As the City works towards finding its new chief, watch for information about an opportunity to meet the candidates, tentatively scheduled for June 1.