EUGENE, Ore. — The city of Eugene has hired a new police chief nearly one year after the last one announced his retirement.

Chris Skinner is expected to start April 30, City Manager Jon Ruiz said in a news release Monday.

He’s been the chief in Richland, Washington, since 2011 but has strong ties to Oregon. He earned degrees from Western Oregon University and George Fox University, and worked for Hillsboro police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in Corvallis.

Skinner was one of three finalists who completed a three-day interview process last week. The interview included four community panels, each with 25 community members, as well as a youth panel, and a community forum.

Skinner also wrote up a first-year plan that includes 12 strategic goals, ranging from auditing the evidence room and streamlining workflows to improving employee evaluations and reviewing the citizen-complaint process. Skinner said he plans to schedule several public forums so he can learn more about the community and its concerns.

“Chris is known for building relationships, using innovative approaches, and leading by example,” Ruiz said. “He has an authentic and inclusive leadership style, and we’ve heard from people across the Northwest that he is an experienced and well-respected law enforcement professional.”

Skinner will receive an annual salary of $153,171. He will be responsible for the overall leadership and administration of the Eugene Police Department, which employs about 190 sworn officers and 140 civilian employees.

Pete Kerns retired as Eugene’s police chief in April 2017, but stayed through the end of the year on an interim basis. David James has been the interim chief in 2018.

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