Battle Ground hosting meet-and-greet with police chief finalists


The City of Battle Ground is hosting a reception for the public to meet the final five police chief candidates this week.

The reception will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7 at Battle Ground City Hall, 109 SW First St. on the second floor. The reception will be an “informal meet and greet,” during which the candidates will be introduced and available for conversation with the public, according to a release from the city. Community members can provide their impressions of each candidate for consideration as part of the selection process.    

The final round of interviews will be Dec. 8.

The finalists are:

• Kevin Barton who currently works as a lieutenant for the City of Gresham Police Department in Gresham. He is responsible for internal affairs and policies, according to the press release. Barton has served in law enforcement since 1997 and has occupied several leadership roles during his career, including lieutenant, detective sergeant, patrol bureau sergeant, deputy sheriff and corporal. Barton previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He holds a master of science from the University of Purdue and is a graduate from the FBI National Academy.

• Dennis Flynn is currently the deputy chief of the Commerce City Police Department in Colorado, where he assists and supports the chief of police in the overall management of the police department.  Prior to that, Flynn served with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, working his way up through the ranks before he retired from that post as the lieutenant in the robbery division. Flynn has a master of science in law enforcement and public safety and is also a graduate of the School of Police Staff and Command from Northwestern University. 

• Philip Lukens has more than 26 years of public service in law enforcement, serving as a corporal and sergeant. Most recently, he has served as the police chief for the City of Alliance Police Department in Alliance, Nebraska. Lukens has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice as well as an array of various certifications, according to the release. In addition to his service in law enforcement, Lukens has held the title of senior pastor with the Carr Community Church.

• Sean O’Laughlin is currently the deputy chief/lieutenant with the Eastern Washington University Police Department in Cheney. O’Laughlin began his career in public service in 2008 with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound and also worked in other roles for the Coast Guard. O’Laughlin has earned three masters degrees in public safety, national security and public administration and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

• Perry Phipps began his public service career with the City of Carpinteria in California in 1984.  He served as police chief for the City of Snoqualmie, Washington, from 2017 to this past July.  Phipps holds a masters of arts degree in leadership and organizational studies and has earned a variety of certifications that complement his leadership roles in law enforcement, according to the press release.

The City of Battle Ground contracted with GMP Consultants to begin recruiting for police chief in August of this year in anticipation of the January 2024 retirement of current Battle Ground Police Chief Mike Fort.