Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 •
Communications Manager


Michael Zaro has been appointed Police Chief for the City of Lakewood.

Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield made the appointment, which takes effect Oct. 16, 2015. 

Chief Zaro has served as Interim Police Chief since April 2015, as part of the transition when former Police Chief Bret Farrar retired. Even before his term as Interim Police Chief, he had been in charge of the Police Department on several occasions as Acting Police Chief the past three years.   

“I’ve had the opportunity to observe Mike’s performance as Interim Police Chief the last six months and I have been very pleased," City Manager John Caulfield said. “His calm demeanor, demonstrated leadership and proven track record will serve the Lakewood community well.” 

“I’ve also gotten many compliments from the community and our City employees about Mike," the City Manager added. “It is evident he has earned the support and trust from many in the community."

Chief Zaro's career includes 21 years in law enforcement, the last 11 of which with the City of Lakewood Police Department. Before becoming Interim Police Chief in April, he had served the past seven years in a command role as Assistant Police Chief, as well as a supervisory role as Sergeant responsible for patrol, professional standards, training, background investigations for new hires and supervision of volunteers.  He joined the Police Department as a detective in 2004, responsible for homicide and felony investigations, forensic investigation, public information officer (PIO) and a member of the Crime Response Unit, a multi-agency investigative unit in Pierce County.  He also served 10 years as a Deputy Sheriff and Detective with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Chief Zaro earned his Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Washington State University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar. 

Chief Zaro’s annual salary totals $135,000, and he will oversee a Police Department with 116 full-time positions, including 100 commissioned law enforcement personnel, and an annual budget of $21 million.