Chief Reese Announces Retirement
Mayor Names Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea as Successor
TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014 – Chief Mike Reese today announced his plans for retirement from the Portland Police Bureau. Mayor Charlie Hales has named his replacement: Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea.
“Larry O’Dea is one of the most decorated officers in the bureau — 11 medals and 75 letters of commendation,” Hales said. “He shares my goals and aspirations. He has been living the idea of community engagement. He has led the bureau’s equity work. He has the respect of the command staff, the rank-and-file, and the community. He is the right leader at the right time.”
Hales, O’Dea and Reese today will host a press conference about the transition, which is planned for January 2015. It will be the first smooth transition between chiefs in two decades.
The mayor praised Reese’s tenure as chief, citing not only the U.S. Department of Justice settlement, but also the opening last month of the most complete law enforcement training facility in the region. Under Reese’s leadership, the bureau instituted new discipline guidelines, new training procedures, and has hired a more diverse set of new officers in recent recruitments.
“I thank Mike Reese for his leadership and his service,” Hales said. “Mike saw us through the investigation and settlement with the DOJ. This was a key milestone for our city and the community’s relationship with the bureau.”
Reese joined the bureau in 1994 and served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and commander. A native Portlander and graduate of Roosevelt High School, he has served as chief since May 2010.
O’Dea will immediately begin leading strategic planning that has long-term impacts for the bureau, including the DOJ settlement implementation, budget, staffing study, promotions, and transition to a new records management system.
O’Dea has served with Portland Police since 1986. He has been a uniformed patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. He has served as assistant chief of services and assistant chief of operations.
He has an executive certificate from the Mark Hatfield School of Government at PSU; a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Portland State University; and an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Portland Community College.
“We have made important strides in diversifying the bureau, in hiring, in training, in discipline guidelines, in de-escalation,” Hales said. “And with Mike taking a well-earned retirement, Larry O’Dea is exactly the right person to handle the big challenges ahead.”
Hales said his priorities for the next chief will include:
● Expanding community engagement. That includes the walking beats re-introduced this year.
● Focusing on equity and diversity issues, including training for officers and continued recruitment of a more representative workforce.
● Critiquing the Police Bureau’s budget, ensuring taxpayers’ dollars are used wisely.
● Implementing the DOJ settlement on schedule.
Among the DOJ settlement’s requirements are consistent leadership and smooth transitions between chiefs. O’Dea participated in all aspects of the DOJ discussions, and understands the nuances of the complex agreement.
O’Dea said he is honored to accept the position of police chief.
“My four primary focus areas are: Community trust and relationship building; diversifying the bureau and bureau leadership; communications and collaboration; and being fiscally smart and responsible,” O’Dea said.
“I am so excited about the direction we’re moving,” he added. “You can see it in the command staff and in the rank-and-file. It’s about relationships with the community. It’s not about the number of arrests; it’s about working on the things that are important to the community.”
The press conference is at noon at the Justice Center in the Wayne Sullivan Room, 14th Floor, 1111 SW 2nd Ave.