Portland police chief steps down—only days after mayor announces he won't seek re-election

"I just want to thank the members of the Portland Police Bureau for the hard work that they do every day on behalf of our city," Lovell said.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell is resigning from his post after serving three years as the Bureau's head honcho during a time that the city plunged into uncontrollable chaos and anarchy.

Chief Lovell informed the department on Wednesday that he will be retiring on Oct. 11, which is just four years shy of his eligibility to retire, according to The Oregonian.

"Personally, for me, its a time for transition," Lovell told the outlet.

Lovell, a US Air Force veteran who has been with the Portland Police Bureau for 21 years, explained that he took the job as police chief "essentially overnight."

During the height of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots of 2020, in which there were months of civil unrest, former PPB Chief Jami Resch abruptly quit her position and appointed Lovell to takeover on June 11, 2020.

Lovell was serving the department as a lieutenant at that time and oversaw the Bureau's new community outreach division for Resch. Resch explained that she chose Lovell to fulfill her duties after witnessing how well he was able to interact with the community during a time of increased vitriol towards police.

After Mayor Ted Wheeler recently announced he would not be seeking re-election, Lovell said that it was time for him to follow suit.

"We've started to rebuild and navigate some really tough times. I just want to thank the members of the Portland Police Bureau for the hard work that they do every day on behalf of our city," Lovell said. "And I want to thank the community members that have supported me throughout my career."

Following the chief's announcement, Mayor Wheeler said that Lovell has "nothing but my support, my admiration, and my gratitude for his service."

Wheeler said that he will be appointing retired Portland police veteran Bob Day to serve as the city's interim chief until the next one is selected in 2025.

Day, who served in the PPB for 29 years before retiring, said that he has "hope" for the city which has obvious challenges.

"I am hopeful for this city," he said, according to the outlet. "I see the challenges. I am not naive."

Chief Lovell oversaw the department during unprecedented times in the city which was stoked by the "defund the police" movement, otherwise known as the "war on police" following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Under his watch, the Portland City Council defunded the police by more than $15 millions which led to a significant staffing crisis and record-breaking homicides in the city. Businesses and residents have fled the City in droves, and as of current, crime continues to worsen and the war on the city's cops remains ongoing.
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