CWU News

CWU Alumna Becomes First Female Police Chief in Richland

Richland Police Chief Brigit Clary

CWU alumna Brigit Clary has been named the police chief for the city of Richland.

A Central Washington University alumna has been named the first female police chief for the city of Richland, according to an iFiberOne news report earlier this week.

Brigit Clary, who had been serving as the interim chief since January, joined the Richland Police Department in 2017 as a patrol officer. She quickly moved up the ranks as a sergeant, lieutenant, and captain, before becoming deputy police chief in November 2021. 

That opportunity led Clary to be named interim chief on January 28, when her predecessor resigned. Now, she will be leading the entire department and its staff of 120.

“I am proud to accept the role as police chief for Richland ... and I look forward to meeting more residents and identifying additional opportunities for RPD staff to engage with our citizens,” said Clary, a 24-year veteran of law enforcement who also served in Ellensburg, Seattle, and Federal Way.

“I love what I do, and despite the challenges in our industry, I hope to encourage others to join our mission of partnering with and protecting our community,” she added.

Clary majored in Law and Justice and Sociology at CWU and started her career as a provisional officer with the Ellensburg Police Department in 1998. Since joining the Richland PD five years ago, she has built a strong support network that prepared her well for such a demanding, high-profile role.

“I have been very pleased with Brigit’s leadership and guidance in the handling of recent high-profile events in our community,” City Manager Jon Amundson said. “She has the respect of staff, the Police Guild, and the community, and I’m excited to have her continue in this role long-term.”