After being chosen by City Manager Mark Rees, Michael J Sauschuck was appointed Chief of Police by Portland City Council on February 7, 2012.
To the Members of our Portland Community,
It is an honor to have been chosen to be Portland’s Police Chief and to serve alongside the men and women of the Portland Police Department.
Last year found us in the midst of another leadership change when Chief James Craig left the agency after a very productive two years to become the Chief of the Cincinnati Police Department. James was a breath of fresh air for our agency and the community as a whole, and we will be reaping the benefits of his many departmental enhancements for years to come. His decision to move on gave me the honor and privilege of becoming the Acting Chief of the department in June, pending the outcome of a national search for a full-time Chief. My time as a Command Staff member and Acting Chief has truly given me a broader perspective on the incredible work both our sworn and civilian employees do on a daily basis, and I’m extremely proud to have lead them during the interim period.
Several operational enhancements in 2011 are worthy of mention, including the continuation of our Mental Health Coordinator and East Bayside Community Services Coordinator positions, and the creation of the Crime Reduction Unit. All three of these positions/units serve as incredibly valuable pieces of our comprehensive approach to Community Policing, and allow us to address negative neighborhood patterns and trends before they become an ingrained problem.
Two projects that celebrated our department’s history were the “Fallen Officers Plaque Dedication” and the “100 Years of Photographs.” The plaque was purchased through charitable donations by current and former department employees, and it will serve as a living memorial of the sixteen officers who lost their lives while serving the City. The photography opening was a project steered by the Station Beautification committee which allowed us to share an assortment of photographs dating back as far as the early 20th century. While these two events look at different aspects of our history, each allowed us the opportunity to be proud of who we are as a valuable partner in our community. Both events were well attended by city officials, community members and department employees.
Since the swearing-in ceremony, which was held on March 5, 2012, my first priority as Chief has been the promotional process, appointing Commander Vern Malloch to the Assistant Chief position, and subsequently filling the vacancies resulting from his promotion. We hope to have this process completed by the end of May.
In addition to the customary duties of a new Chief, such as connecting with neighborhood and community organizations, I’ve been focused on the Department’s annual budget process, a reinvigoration of our police officer candidate recruitment efforts, and initiatives such as the Homelessness Prevention Task Force and the Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force with the US Attorney’s office. As we move forward through the year, I will continue to keep the community abreast of Departmental undertakings with updates on our web site.
In closing, I want to thank the entire community for all your support and, once again, voice my pride in being a member of the Portland Police Department family.
Michael J. Sauschuck
Chief of Police