Captain Marcia Harden is leaving the Bellevue Police Department after 27 years to become the Chief of Police in Albany, Oregon. Harnden is not only leaving the only police department she’s ever worked for, but also her hometown.
Marcia is a graduate of Interlake High School, Bellevue College, and the University of Washington. “My roots are in Bellevue; more than half of my life has been spent with Bellevue PD. I’ve made lasting friendships throughout the years, and it’s the people here that I’m going to miss most,” Harnden said.
During her nearly three-decade career at BPD, Marcia became one of the city’s first School Resource Officers, coincidentally at Interlake High School. She was the department’s Public Information Officer, SWAT Commander, Union Guild President, and she spent a dozen years as a Drug Recognition Expert or DRE, where she encountered her most impactful case. “I responded to a fatal collision where Seattle Police Officer Joselito Barber was killed by a woman driving highly intoxicated on a cocktail of drugs. She received 20 years in prison, but the situation was devastating and really tough on all of us.”
Harnden rose through the ranks in patrol, becoming a corporal, then lieutenant, and was promoted to captain in 2015. Chief Steve Mylett says Marcia will leave a void, “Marcia has been a dedicated and committed City employee who consistently used her skills to serve the public and her fellow officers. She cares deeply for the people she serves and the many officers she has mentored throughout her career. Bellevue’s loss is definitely Albany’s gain – I wish Marcia much success as she embarks on the next chapter of her career.”
Marcia will be taking over a police force of 92 employees, including 65 sworn officers. Albany, Oregon is a growing community with about 55,000 residents. “I’m walking into a well-run department that’s really a big family, and I feel blessed. My biggest challenge will be building trust with the staff and the community. But that’s the foundation of the Bellevue Police Department, and I feel well equipped for the task.”
Chief Harnden will begin her new position in late January.