City of Burien Police Department
Emergency dispatch: 9-1-1
Non-Emergency dispatch: (206) 296-3311
Burien Police Department
14905 6th Ave. SW
Burien, WA 98166
Business Phone: (206) 477-2200
Interim Police Chief:
Chief Marcus Williams
City police department website:
Burien is an ethnically and economically diverse community with a population of more than 48,000 people. Incorporated since 1993, this 100-year-old waterfront community has six miles of Puget Sound shoreline, 28 neighborhood parks, and numerous communities with varying policing needs.
Burien's policing model focuses on problem-solving with local businesses and with residents in its diverse neighborhoods. Burien Police Department dedicates resources to investigate gang and neighborhood drug issues, draws on citizen involvement through its Block and Business Watch programs, and invests in its residents and youth with a dedicated community police officer, school resource officer and community service officer.
As well, Burien police officers also offer a Community Police Academy for residents wanting to know more about their police services, as well as Community Emergency Response Training, which prepares residents to protect themselves, their families and their neighborhoods in emergency situations.
"I worked as the Burien city manager for seven years and during that time had almost daily interaction with the department, usually through the command staff assigned to the city. Although I had been in city management for some time, Burien was my first municipality where police services were provided through contract. I was skeptical about the arrangement, and generally uneasy about it.
That feeling passed quickly. I discovered first that the quality of police protection was every bit as good, or better, than that provided through conventional city police departments. It might surprise some – but it is a fact of record – that crime in Burien was lower than most of its neighbors, including Seattle, for both Part 1 and Part 2 crimes. Importantly, our residents embraced the department. Three community surveys over six years showed residents felt very safe, and consistently rated officers as “highly courteous.”
Officers were assigned to our city and not rotated each year. They knew the city, its residents and its quirks. The fact they wore distinct uniforms and drove cars with the Burien logo helped the community view the department as “ours.” In 2011, I hired a well-respected, independent auditing firm to compare the cost and efficiency of the Burien department to that of other cities. Frankly, I expected to find that our contract included excessive overhead. Rather, it showed that the contract was slightly less expensive than similar, traditional departments. This did not include the significant savings from avoided costs, notably collective bargaining, fleet, facilities and IT among others. Finally, the department had a stellar reputation for professionalism.
During my tenure, neighboring departments seemed to constantly struggle with questions about ethical conduct – and be in the news because of it. But the men and women assigned to Burien very, very rarely had even minor issues. In fact I can’t recall a single, material incident that occurred while I was there. So would I contract again with the King County Sheriff Department? In a heartbeat."
- Mike Martin, Burien City Manager (Retired)