By Kate Reardon
LAKE STEVENS -- This city will have a new police chief come Monday. Police Sgt. Randy Celori is expected to be sworn in as chief at a council meeting Monday night. Celori, 41, has served as acting chief for several weeks following the resignation of chief John Gray, who took a job with the Arlington Police Department. Mayor Lynn Walty said Celori is a team player and has excellent credentials. "That makes him the reasonable choice," Walty said. "He's a very down-to-earth individual. People are able to talk with him. That's very much a part of community policing. That's what we want in our community." Celori, who has been with the Lake Stevens police for six years, has a long history in law enforcement. He served 16 years in the Army, most of the time as a military police officer. During his post at West Point in New York, Celori once worked as security for President Reagan. He was also in charge of about 80 people during a military stint in Puerto Rico. While in the military, Celori was honored as U.S. Army Europe Soldier of the Year. As chief of the Lake Stevens department, Celori will oversee a dozen staff members, maintain day-to-day operations and work on budget proposals and program accreditation. The department has a $1.1 million operating budget. "John Gray has left a good footprint for me to follow," he said. The department is also in the process of hiring two police officers, and the department has asked the city council for one more police position for the 2002 budget. While serving as an officer for the department, Celori worked with an investigative team on a case of about 130 commercial burglaries in the Puget Sound area, some of which occurred in Lake Stevens. The investigation eventually led to the conviction of the burglars, he said. He has training in various investigations including child abuse and swift water rescue. He was also named Lake Stevens Police Officer of the Year for 1999. Celori said it's always been a dream of his to someday become a police chief. He has an associate degree and plans to earn a criminal justice degree through Central Washington University. He also has plans to work toward national accreditation for the police department, and wants to improve investigations on theft and car prowls, the city's most frequent crimes. Originally from Michigan, Celori came to Washington after meeting the woman who was to become his, wife Andrea. The couple have been married 11 years and have two boys. You can call Herald Writer Kate Reardon at 425-339-3455
or send e-mail to email@example.com.