Eugene invites you to meet the police chief finalists

The City of Eugene has narrowed down the search for police chief to three candidates.

Posted: Mar. 13, 2018 4:29 AM
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018 6:56 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene has announced three finalists in the race for police chief.

The City said it's chosen these three out of 33 applicants nationwide, with the help of Strategic Government Resources.

KEZI spoke to each of the candidates earlier today at the Eugene Springfield Fire Regional Training Center Tuesday morning.

The three finalists are as follows:

-Mike Lester: Assistant police chief in Vancouver, WA. He has 28 years of experience and has served as assistant chief for six years now. He's also served as a precinct commander, special operations division commander, detective sergeant, and more.

Lester said if he’s lucky enough to be chosen he wants to be very open with the people he works with.

"I like to be very transparent with my leadership, I like inclusion,” Lester said. “I like to get feedback from the folks that I lead. There's nothing wrong with having a conversation or discussing next steps. At the end of the day I know that the final decision is the chief’s and the chief will own those decisions and lead by those decisions."

- Bruce Marquis: Former police chief of Norfolk, VA, Hartford, CT, and the Houston, TX Independent School District. With 40 years of experience, his credentials include a special agent for the FBI, a security manager for the 1984 LA Olympics organizing committee, and others. 

Marquis said if he's chief he wants to make sure everyone is treated equally.

"It doesn't matter who you are,” said Marquis. “Doesn't matter whether you're black, white, brown, whether you're male or female, homeless or not. Our job is to provide equitable service to everyone and make sure that everyone in the city is respected, treated with dignity, listened to, and that we're providing the best service we can to keep them safe."

-Chris Skinner: Chief of police for Richland, WA. He has 27 years of experience and has held his current position for seven years. He's also had experience in Oregon as the deputy chief in Hillsboro, OR, and an officer for the Benton County Sheriff's Office in Corvallis, OR.

Skinner said if he's selected he plans on fostering relationships throughout the department and community.

"I have the ability to kind of bring people together in a relational style, I love building coalitions, being collaborative with partners, both community partners and other law enforcement partners. I have a strong history with that. I have a strong history of developing employees and coaching and mentoring employees so they can achieve their career and personal goals and that's something that really fulfills me is being able to do that."

“We are very pleased with the caliber of the candidates that applied for this important position,” said City Manager Jon Ruiz. “I look forward to meeting the finalists and to getting feedback from the community and police department throughout the interview process.”

A spokesperson with the Eugene Police Department said Ruiz is expected to make a decision on March 23rd. 

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