Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate announces retirement

Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate has announced that he is retiring from law enforcement after 33 years of service in Grays Harbor.

In a letter to Mayor Schave and shared with KXRO, Shumate says that the decision came “After much discussion,thought and prayer with my family and close friends”.

Shumate said in the letter that he began his local service as a Deputy Sheriff under Grays Harbor County Sheriff Dennis Morrisette, serving at the agency for 29 years. In 2018 Shumate took over as Aberdeen Police Chief.

“My career has been filled with so many exciting opportunities and adventures. Aside from my constant pursuit of public safety, I have also had the pleasure of being involved with many partnerships in public safety.”

During his time in local law enforcement, Shumate highlighted a number of local projects that included his work with community block watch programs, the APD Volunteers In Police Services (VIPS), the addition of the APD-HPD-CPD Behavioral Health Navigator, as well as a “top-to-bottom assessment” of the Aberdeen Police Department and the work to make improvements to their policies, procedures, and processes.

Shumate says that since he took over in Aberdeen, the department has seen over 20 department members step away either through retirement or job changes, with a consistent hiring of new officers and staff.

His letter thanked not only his family and staff, but also the community for their support.

“I want to thank our citizens and businesses who have endured so much over the past few years. I know as a city we have faced many challenges, but I have appreciated the commitment from you Mayor Schave, as well as my fellow department heads, city employees, and our city council members in their support of public safety and their desire to improve the quality of life for everyone in Aberdeen. 

I think we have all learned there are many societal challenges, such as violence, mental health, drug abuse and homelessness, which are beyond the ability of the police department to solve alone. The City needs to continue to work in partnership to address these various challenges. “

Shumate’s retirement will be effective June 30, 2022.