Chief Dan Christman was sworn in as the Selah Chief of Police on October 15, 2020. He is passionate about police leadership, organizational change, continuing education, and mentoring.
After a 15 year career as a Death Investigator, Dan transitioned to a career in policing. In 1997, Dan was appointed to the Bothell (WA) Police Department where he served in a variety of duties, including Patrol Officer, DARE Officer, Traffic Officer, Motorcycle Officer and Collision Reconstructionist, and Sergeant. Because of his experience with Death Investigations, he was invited to assist with complex crime scene investigations and Officer Involved Shooting investigations in the U.S. and Canada.
In 1998, Dan was asked to develop curriculum, and teach Criminal Investigation at the WA State Basic Law Enforcement Academy. To date he has lectured in nearly 200 classes and over 6000 WA State law enforcement professionals at the CJTC.
In 2016 Dan was hired by the City of Sunnyside (WA) Police Department where he served as the Operations Commander. He provided focused and strategic direction to the Patrol and Support Divisions, and assisted the Chief with organizational change. He also helped construct, and was the first Commander of the Yakima Valley Special Investigations Unit, responsible for managing the independent investigation of officer-involved use of force incidents.
From 2018 to 2020, Dan led a team of dedicated, and forward-thinking police academy staff as they responded to legislatively mandated police reform brought on by WA Initiative 940. Dan guided police and community members through the negotiated rule-making process and constructed state rules concerning de-escalation training for people in crisis, and officer-involved use of force protocols in Washington State.
Dan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Boise State University and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is a member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Police Executive Research Forum. To date, he has authored 19 articles on Criminal Investigations, and contributed to several textbooks.