Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick VanLeuven
Chief Rick VanLeuven has been with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years and has held many positions since becoming a deputy sheriff in 1981. In his early years as a deputy, he served as Firearms Instructor/Armorer, and was selected as a Field Training Officer. From 1981 through 1993, he was assigned to the Investigative Support Unit.
In 1993, Chief VanLeuven was promoted to detective where he worked property and drug crime investigations. He implemented the Gang Unit for the Sheriff’s Office and became the office’s first gang specialist. With that expertise, he qualified as a gang expert, testifying in numerous gang trials. Chief VanLeuven was the recipient of the Medal of Merit for Outstanding Service and Dedication as a gang specialist, in helping solve two high-profile gang homicides.
In 1996, Chief VanLeuven was promoted to sergeant and was instrumental in developing several investigative and street crimes units within the Sheriff’s Office, and integrated members of those units with federal law enforcement agencies.
In 2002, during Chief VanLeuven’s tenure as lieutenant, he was appointed Drug Commander of the Investigative Support Unit and was also selected as the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force Commander. He was also elected and served as President of the Inland Empire Police Officers Association.
Chief VanLeuven was appointed to his current position in March of 2007 where his goal is to build strong trust with the Spokane Valley community. The Spokane Valley Police Department participates with many local organizations involved in public safety. The Chief and his staff also spend numerous hours at various community events, such as Valleyfest, Holidays For Heroes, and parades, enjoying the interaction with the community and providing a venue to meet those we work to serve and protect.
Chief VanLeuven is an active member of several local and state-wide law enforcement organizations. He is a 2009 graduate of the FBI National Academy and a 2010 graduate from the FBI LEEDS Academy (Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminars).
As Chief of the Spokane Valley Police Department, he is responsible for establishing goals and objectives for city police services, overseeing and supervising police operations within the city, while maintaining a collaborative working relationship with the city manager and city council members.
Chief VanLeuven pursued and received accreditation for the Spokane Valley Police Department in 2011 from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. SVPD is the first and largest contract city in the State of Washington to achieve this accomplishment.