On June 8, Portland Police Chief Jami Resch announced she is stepping down from her position at the bureau. Resch is stepping aside to allow Lt. Chuck Lovell to become the city’s new top chief.
Lovell is the fourth African American police chief in Portland’s history.
Resch Tweeted a statement, “I have listened and our community and you have said show us change. PPB needs to be the leader in change. It starts with trust. This change in leadership comes from my heart. Chuck Lovell has been dedicated to service his entire life. I am 100% confident in him and his leadership.”
Resch said in a press conference that Lovell “is the exact right person at the exact right moment.”
OPB reported that Resch will continue working with the Portland Police Bureau in a different role, which was unknown at the time.
In a couple of press conferences, Lovell answered questions from the media, saying that the past 24 hours have been a “whirlwind.” He further expressed an interest in bridging the gap between the police and the community.
“We have to remember when they don’t have those uniforms on, they’re our community members,” Lovell said in a press conference. “They’re sitting next to us in church, they’re dropping their kids off at the same schools our kids go to. They’re behind us in line at the grocery store. And we can never lose sight of the fact that there are way more good police officers than there are bad ones.”
“I think in very general terms, change is coming,” said Lovell. “I think this kind of a real precipice for law enforcement all over the country [and] in the city. We’re going to really look really hard at what changes need to be made, what changes make sense. Change for the sake of change doesn’t always have the best outcomes for people.”
OPB reported the Portland Public Schools announcement last week detailing plans to end their contract with the police school resources officers. Meanwhile, the Portland Police Bureau faces criticism for their treatment of protestors over the past couple of weeks.
By Samantha Sied