PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell is leaving his post and an interim police chief has been announced, the city’s top cop and Mayor Ted Wheeler announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Lovell’s last day as chief will be Oct. 11, while the new interim chief, who will be expected to stay in the role until at least 2025 when the new city government takes hold, will be Bob Day, a former police deputy chief who is leaving retirement, Wheeler said.
“For me, it’s a time for transition,” Lovell said, who added during his announcement that he will be staying with the bureau overseeing community engagement work.
View the full press conference in the video player below.
Lovell’s impending departure, which was first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive, comes just over three years after he was tapped for the role during the social justice protests that rocked Portland and other cities across the nation in June 2020 after Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd. His tenure was also marked by historically low staffing levels within the bureau and rise in crime post-pandemic.
“Chief Lovell has led the Bureau through unprecedented times with a steady and reliable hand,” Wheeler said. “He has nothing but my support, admiration, and gratitude for his service.”
“I was appointed at a very turbulent time for our city and our bureau. I’m proud of our accomplishments at the police bureau. Over the last three years, we have started to rebuild and we’ve been through some really tough times,” Lovell added.
Day, who retired in 2019 after being deputy chief of police in 2018, first joined the Portland Police Bureau in 1990 and worked with Lovell in several units within the bureau. Day will serve as the interim police chief through June 2025 after a new mayor and city council under the newly transitioned city government takes effect on Jan. 1, 2025.
“I know this is a sprint,” when it comes to his tenure and overcoming challenges, Day said during a question and answer session of the press conference.
More to come. Stay with KOIN 6 News as this story develops.