Southard sworn in as deputy chief

John Southard started as Sequim’s new deputy police chief on May 1. He was sworn in by Police Chief Mike Hill the same day during a ceremony in the Sequim City Council chambers.

“It’s exciting,” Southard said in an interview. “You always want to implement change and be in a position to do so; raise the bar so to speak.”

Previously serving as the City of Sequim’s patrol sergeant, Southard said he was prompted to apply as deputy chief because of a feeling that “it boils down to helping people.”

He said his goal this year is to hire more police officers to get staffing levels to full capacity, train two sergeants — and possibly a third by year’s end — and continue to keep the department moving forward.

Southard was hired as a Sequim police officer in June 2007 and promoted to patrol sergeant in January 2017. He retired from law enforcement in August 2021 but returned in March 2023 to help address personnel issues, he said.

“After 15-plus years with an organization, I felt compelled to say yes,” Southard said.

He added that he always wants to do his best and make places better than when he arrives.

Southard has lived in Sequim since 1992, now with his wife and high school-aged son. His adult daughter now lives in California.

He worked almost eight years for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Sequim as a research officer and dive officer, and volunteered both for Sequim Police Department and Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.

In 2018, Southard retired from the U.S. Army after 21 years of service, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011-2012 as a combat advisor.

For more about the Sequim Police Department, visit