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Friday, March 1, 2024
March 1, 2024

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Camas continues search for new police chief

Police department seeks lateral, entry-level police officers


More than two months after a public meet-and-greet event introduced five Camas police chief finalists to the community, city officials say the search for Camas’ next top cop is still on.

Camas Mayor Steve Hogan said earlier this month that the search had narrowed to two finalists.

“Mayor Hogan acknowledged that the finalists were both excellent candidates, each with unique strengths they could bring to the position,” Camas Communications Director Bryan Rachal stated on the city’s website. “However, the decision was made to continue the search.”

Longtime Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey, who announced his retirement in April 2022, following more than 32 years with the local police department, has “agreed to push back his retirement date to provide support to the city while the process to hire his replacement continues,” Rachal said.

Lackey, the Camas police chief, said in April 2022, that the time was right for his pending retirement.

“It has been an honor to serve the city in this capacity all these years,” Lackey told the mayor and Camas City Council in April. “I think the timing is right for a switch in the (police) department, and I will work with the mayor and the city administrator so that we have a real smooth transition.”

The city of Camas is also searching for lateral and entry-level police officers to help fill vacancies. A recent “now hiring” advertisement lists a Camas police officer salary range of $85,000 to $102,000 per year and touts the police hiring incentive bonus approved by the Camas City Council in 2022, which offers monetary bonuses between $10,000 (for entry-level officers) and $30,000 (for more experienced officers) who join the Camas police force and remain with the department for a certain period of time.

The job posting also highlights 10.6-hour shifts with four- and five-day weekends; education incentives and accreditation pay; 148 hours worth of holiday hours annually; and between eight and 20 hours of monthly vacation accrual based on the officer’s overall years of experience.

City leaders have said police departments throughout the region have been having trouble attracting new officers.

“In the current labor market, hiring police officers has become extremely competitive,” Jennifer Gorsuch, the city’s administrative services director, told the Camas City Council in July 2022, adding that offering bonuses to police officers has become standard practice for many jurisdictions.