Mayor-elect says he will keep Mike Reese as Portland police chief

By Andrea Damewood, Willamette Week, Dec. 6, 2012

Charlie Hales

Charlie Hales

Mayor-elect Charlie Hales says is committed to keeping Mike Reese on as Portland’s police chief.

Hales, who will serve as police commissioner, says he hasn’t set a time table for when they’ll decide if the relationship is working out.

“I haven’t set a schedule other than obviously, I’ll be watching his performance, just like every other key manager at the city—daily and weekly,” he says.

During the campaign, Hales wouldn’t say whether he would keep Reese on if he was elected.

But October’s U.S. Department of Justice agreement recommended a continuity of leadership may be best to enact reforms regarding what the DOJ said is a “pattern and practice” of excessive force against the mentally ill.

Hales agrees: “Chief Reese is a good man who is working hard, and who has a lot of credibility in the bureau,” he says. “He’s got crediblity with the city council, and despite these (DOJ) problems, still has the support of people the community.”

He added that it’s “very disruptive to change police chiefs, and we’ve done an awful lot of that lately.”

Portland’s gone through four police chiefs in the last decade. Reese took the helm in May 2010. His predecessor, Rosie Sizer, served from 2006 to 2010.