Interim Auburn Police chief no longer, Dan O’Neal is top cop

Kendra Comeau new city attorney after interim role

  • Friday, March 27, 2020 10:22am
  • News
Daniel O’ Neil. FILE PHOTO

Daniel O’ Neil. FILE PHOTO

Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus announced this week Daniel O’ Neil as Auburn’s new police chief and Kendra Comeau as the city’s new attorney.

Both had served in interim roles over recent months, O’ Neil as acting chief of the department after Chief William Pierson’s “separation” from the department on Nov. 21, and Comeau as acting attorney upon the retirement of former city attorney Steve Gross in January.

“We removed the title of interim from Chief Dan O’Neil, and he has become our permanent Chief of Police,” Backus said on Monday.

O’Neil began his law enforcement career in 1999 with Auburn. He spent his first 3½ years working primarily graveyard patrol. In 2003, he became a field training officer, which made him responsible for teaching academy graduates the practical application of state law, city ordinance and department policy and procedures. In 2005, O’Neil became a generalist canine handler, working with two separate dogs over six years.

In July of 2010, O’Neil was promoted to the rank of sergeant. As a sergeant, he was assigned to patrol, property crimes, special investigations and administrative services. O’Neil was promoted to commander in March of 2017.

O’Neil has a master’s degree in public safety executive leadership from St. Cloud State University (Minn.). He has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Eastern Washington University and an associate of arts degree from Green River College. He has also completed the International Association Chiefs of Police, Leadership in Police Organizations course and recently graduated from the Auburn Chamber of Commerce South Puget Sound Leadership Institute.

Comeau will lead the legal department, draft, review and approve ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal instruments and documents, provide written and oral opinions and legal advice concerning city affairs, administer compliance with various state and local laws and statutes, and represent the city in judicial and administrative proceedings.

Comeau joined the city on Sept. 24, 2018 as an assistant city attorney in the legal department. She was born and raised in Auburn. Before attending college at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where she majored in politics and Spanish, she was the track coach for the city’s youth recreation program. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2011 and has defended private and public employers including a variety of cities, counties and school districts.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology.
EPA loans King County $96.8 million to prevent untreated water from spilling into Puget Sound

Loan comes a week after an over 10 million gallon overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Courtesy photo
Survey shows rent debt to be disproportionately distributed among minorities

More than half of Black renters surveyed said they owed rent money from previous months.

Photo courtesy of South Sound News
2-year-old child, woman rescued from Auburn house fire

Fire started in the garage around 11:40 p.m. Jan. 20 near the 30100 block of 50th Lane S. in Auburn.

File photo
Toy thief uses pepper spray at Auburn grocery store

Typically, the daily log of police activities the Auburn Police Department forwards… Continue reading

Kent Hay, Auburn’s Outreach Program Administrator, explores homeless encampments last fall in Auburn. File photo
Auburn to continue agreement over day and night homeless shelters

In mid-2018, the City of Auburn began a partnership with the Auburn… Continue reading

File photo
Kid blows up power transformer with bow and arrow | Auburn police blotter

Auburn police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Firefighters give aid to a cat while responding to an apartment fire Jan. 15 in the 1200 block of Auburn Way South. Photo courtesy of Valley Regional Fire Authority
Firefighters respond to Auburn apartment fire | Fire blotter

Between Jan. 11 and Jan. 17, the Valley Regional Fire Authority responded… Continue reading

File photo
Mayor to negotiate leases for land at Auburn airport

City has long-term goal of attracting private development to the airport.

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)
At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

Most Read