Introduction: Lake Forest Park Police Chief Mike Harden

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

LFP Police Chief Mike Harden
Hello community!

With the retirement of Chief Sutton, I have been given the opportunity to lead the Lake Forest Park Police Department into the next chapter. As a small introduction, I was chosen to be your new Police Chief. 

I am truly honored to be named your Chief and most everyone knows that I have some very big shoes to fill. Chief Sutton was loved by our community and he has been an incredible mentor.

If you are interested and would like to know more about me, my name is Mike Harden and I have been with the Lake Forest Park Police Department for over 18 years.

I grew up in Southern California and my father was a police officer for West Covina Police Department. I became a police explorer with West Covina PD when I was 14 years old. Years later, I became a police reserve officer for West Covina PD. 

One of my most treasured memories was my first traffic stop with my dad as the backing officer. 

After spending over 4 years with the department, I moved to Washington State in 1997 with my wife (Amy) working for a clothing store as a district manager. In 2000, I contacted the Lake Forest Park Police Department and was hired on as a police officer. When I started, my first child was 1 week old! 

With LFPPD, I was a police officer, working on a future in computer forensics. That changed when I saw a position open for the canine narcotics officer working with K9 “Dakota” for 7 amazing years. That was an incredibly fulfilling experience and I enjoyed working as a canine officer.

I then became a Field Training Officer (FTO). I loved training new recruits and really loved the administrative aspect of the position. Then, I became an FTO coordinator and loved the management portion of the job which lead to a promotion as the patrol sergeant position in 2010. I loved serving my crew of officers as their sergeant.

While I was working as a patrol sergeant, Chief Sutton was hired on and wanted an administrative sergeant to oversee the support services division. I took this role on and for the next six years, I was given more responsibilities, training, leadership and mentorship from Chief Sutton. 

Under the direction of Chief Sutton, I was able to help lead the department in the direction it is today. One of my skills is the use of technology and with Chief Sutton’s “yes”, and “let’s do it” attitude we moved into a culture of better communication with the community. 

I also attended the FBI National Academy, spending 3 months in Virginia with police executives from all around the world. It was the most rewarding, inspiring, and important training I have ever had.

We have a well-run police department, great officers, a community that holds public safety as the #1 priority and dearly loves our police department.

I want to use the talent and skills I learned from Chief Sutton and continue to have an outstanding police department. As it stands right now, we have lost a veteran presence with the retirement of Detective Matthews, Captain Armbrust, and Chief Sutton, and those are some big shoes to fill. 

My current objective is to build the next group of leaders for our police department. I have two open Lieutenants positions that need to be filled and we are presently working on those positions. We also must fill the open officer positions this will create, and we are presently working on that as well. I ask for patience in this transition period as I have no set administration just yet, so I am pulling from existing resources to temporarily help until positions are filled.

As for the near future, I would like to meet with block watch captains, community members, merchants, attend city events, and continue to be engaged with our community. I will be a Rotarian with LFP and I am planning to make connections within this group of amazing people.

If you have any questions, my email is and my office number is (206) 957-2851. I have always had an open door and I will do my very best to meet the expectations that all of you and the officers have. Very excited for the next chapter in our history!

Chief Mike Harden
Lake Forest Park Police Department
17425 Ballinger Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155


Luanne Brown July 31, 2019 at 7:51 AM  

Congratulations on your new position.

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