Interim Olympia Police Chief Aaron Jelcick has announced his retirement from the Olympia Police Department (OPD) effective September 30, 2021. Jelcick has led OPD as the interim chief since November 2019, following the retirement of Police Chief Ronnie Roberts.
“It has been a privilege and honor to have served this community over the past 28 and a half years,” said Jelcick. “The men and women who work for the Olympia Police Department are among the finest public servants you will find anywhere. I am continuously amazed by their compassion and respect for all people, and their desire to protect, serve, and care for those who are in need.
“The past several years have been challenging for those serving in the in a law enforcement profession, but despite these challenges the Olympia Police Department continued to learn, adapt and improve in how it served the community. I am proud of the work the OPD is doing, and I am confident that the OPD will continue to be among the finest in the nation.”
Jelcick began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with OPD and has served as a walking patrol officer, training officer, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detective, Olympia police detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, police lieutenant, Deputy Police Chief, and as the Interim Police Chief. In 2015, he was appointed by the Olympia City Council to serve as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Police and Community Relations.
Under Jelcick’s leadership the OPD’s Crisis Response Unit and Familiar Faces Program has become nationally recognized for growing and expanding alternative police response for people suffering mental health and substance use disorder.
“Aaron Jelcick stepped up for the City, for the community and for me to lead our police department during the most difficult period in our City’s history,” said City Manager Jay Burney. “I am tremendously grateful for his leadership and support as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, social unrest, and as we have taken on the important task of reimagining public safety. His commitment to the City of Olympia and the Olympia Police Department is unmatched.”
With Jelcick’s retirement, a new interim chief will be selected and the City will restart its search for a permanent police chief within the next 30 -60 days. The City remains committed to a broad, inclusive and transparent process.
The Olympia Police Chief is responsible for a staff of 110 employees and an annual operating budget of $21.8 million: overseeing 76 commissioned personnel, 13 corrections officers, and 21 civilians.