Snoqualmie Announces Police Chief Retirement, Familiar Face returns as Interim Chief

Via press release on June 14, 2016, the City of Snoqualmie announced Police Chief Steve McCulley was retiring. McCulley, who2014 McCulley 300px took over the reins in 2012 when SPD Chief Jim Schaeffer retired, will be handing the [interim] reins back to Schaeffer.

McCulley, a longtime North Bend resident, was promoted from Captain to Chief in 2012. Before that he served nearly three decades in the Washington State Patrol

According to the release:

When Police Chief Steve McCulley was hired to lead the Snoqualmie Police Department, he arrived to find a department that was well-respected by the community and that embraced a strong philosophy of community-oriented policing.

Over the last several years, Chief McCulley has worked with the police department to improve accountability, transparency, readiness, and professionalism. During the last two years, the police department has been providing outstanding police services not just to the City of Snoqualmie, but also to the City of North Bend.  The outcome of the department’s hard work has been a safer, more secure community, and a safe and robust work environment for our officers.

Chief McCulley has reached a time where he feels that his goals for the community and the police department have been accomplished, and he is announcing his retirement to allow new leadership to continue to enhance the development of law enforcement services for the upper Snoqualmie Valley.

Schaeffer returns to Chief Role

Jim Schaffer will be leading police department operations in the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend as interim Chief. According to a separate press release, “his leadership, both in police service and as a committed volunteer in the Snoqualmie Valley community, has been greatly appreciated and admired.”

Schaffer served the Snoqualmie Police Department for 23 years prior to his retirement in 2012. He became a Snoqualmie police officer in 1989 and was promoted to sergeant, captain, and then chief in 2003.

The City of Snoqualmie said it wishes Chief McCulley the best in his future endeavors and welcomes Jim Schaffer back to the police department during the hiring process for a new Police Chief.


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  • UH. .he has reached the time when the stuff is gonna hit the fan! The lack of presence beyond the city downtown, over the past months since the Nick Hogan fiasco has been noticed for sure. With the criminal Nick Hogan being addressed by the FBI it was only a matter to time that we saw the “chief” leave. All of the immediate “drug camp” dispersal was great press. Those folks and camps just set up again away from the eyes .. We see them back again. .What about the known drug houses throughout North Bend? We see drug transactions in the parking lot of QFC for damned sake.. around town here and there.. We will see who is called up by the Feds with the Hogan incident .. and see if it goes all the way to the Mayors office? He be scootin too! ..

  • We certainly have a lack of real community policing. It’s hard to do if the officers only drive through in their cars and never get out and connect with the community…that doesn’t mean park on the side of the road and run radar for revenue.

  • They don’t even write tickets for speed enforcement anymore. Police dont like the deal that is in place with Issaquah court so when they are pulling vehicles over for speeding, only a warning is given.

  • Confused; the old Chief gets ran out of town (I guess they call it retiring now) for poor management and lack of accountability. This newest Chief exposes the City to numerous lawsuits, suspect hiring practices that nobody understands, creates the lowest Officer morale ever and the list goes on. So now he gets run out of town (we now call it retiring). To fix this, we now bring back the first Chief?? What is going on with this City? Why is it so hard to find a leader who can lead with integrity?

  • Living Snoqualmie