Commander to get top spot in Oregon town

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A commander with the Clark County Sheriff's Office has been named the chief of police for Lincoln City, Ore.

Commander Keith Kilian accepted the position this week and will succeed the agency's outgoing chief, Steven Bechard.

"I'm very, very pleased that (City Manager David) Hawker has selected someone that I feel confident will take over and continue the progress we have here," Bechard said.

The agency has been searching for a police chief since early August, when Bechard announced his plans for retirement.

Kilian has worked at the Clark County Sheriff's Office for 34 years, during which he worked in the patrol, narcotics, sex crimes against children, and gang divisions, as well as on the SWAT team.

He became a commander in 2001 and currently runs the agency's west precinct.

"I've learned a lot on leadership, and I'm excited to take that opportunity to practice what I've learned," Kilian said.

Although he said he will miss his colleagues in Clark County, Kilian also expressed excitement for the next chapter in his career.

"For the most part, (I feel) very blessed for a very successful career," he said. "I'm very honored. … The police department is a very progressive and professional agency."

Kilian will become Lincoln City's chief of police on Jan. 22.