City of Eugene names finalists for police chief

Out of 33 applicants, the city has narrowed it down to three finalists.

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 6:06 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 6:17 PM

EUGENE, Ore., -- The City of Eugene is getting closer to naming a new police chief. 

Out of 33 applicants, they have narrowed it down to just three. The City will host the finalists the week of March 12 for interviews, and to give the community a chance to meet them. 

Get involved:

There is a community panel March 13 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. If you would like to participate, you need to submit a community panel interest form. The forms must be submitted by February 28 and city councilors, the mayor and city manager will make the final selections of who will participate. 

There is also a community forum on March 13 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Harris Hall. You can email questions to to ask at the forum. The forum can also be live streamed on the city's website.

The three finalists are Mike Lester, Bruce Marquis, and Chris Skinner. The city has released a description of each of the candidates previous work history.

Jon Ruiz, the Eugene City manager said all the candidates have decades of experience and are qualified for the position. 

Mike Lester has 28 years of experience in municipal policing, including seven years in executive command positions. He currently serves as the Assistant Police Chief for the City of Vancouver, Washington, a position he has held since 2012. Previously, he was Vancouver Police Department’s Special Operations Division Commander, and West Precinct Commander. Lester also served as Detective Sergeant for the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force. Lester earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from California Coast University. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Clark County Law Enforcement Council, and the Washington Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs.



Bruce Marquis has 40 years of law enforcement experience, including over 15 years as Police Chief for the Cities of Norfolk, Virginia and Hartford, Connecticut, and the Houston, Texas Independent School District. He currently is the Training Programs Consultations Manager for the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security, Anti-terrorism Assistance Program (ATA), where he also served as the Law Enforcement Subject Matter Expert for the ATA & International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Division. Previously Marquis served as a Special Agent for the FBI, and Security Manager for the 1984 LA Olympics organizing committee. Marquis earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Texas Southern University, and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice Management and Business Administration from Sam Houston State and Pepperdine Universities respectively. He is a graduate of the National FBI Academy and Harvard’s JFK School of Government Executive Sessions in Policing and Public Policy, and Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies.

Chris Skinner has 27 years of police experience and currently serves as the Chief of Police for the Richland, Washington, Police Department, a position he has held since 2011. He previously served for over three years as the Deputy Chief of Police for Hillsboro, Oregon, where he also served as Police Commander and Police Lieutenant. Skinner also worked for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in Corvallis, Oregon. Skinner earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from George Fox University and a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Psychology from Western Oregon University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and served as co-chair of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs statewide Public Trust and Technology Committees. He was appointed to the State of Washington Task Force Against Trafficking of Persons.

Ruiz said they are looking for someone with strong internal leadership skills, someone who will integrate within the community and police department well, and someone who shares the city's philosophy of community policing. Ruiz said they are eager to hear from community members and get feedback on the finalists. 

Ruiz expects to make a decision about the new police chief the week of March 19.

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