Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns Announces His Retirement

Mar 27, 2017

The chief of Eugene’s police department is retiring.  After more than three decades of service, Pete Kerns says he’ll officially step down in the next month or two.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Eugene Police Chief, Pete Kerns.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Kerns started as a reserve police officer in 1981.  He became Chief in 2008.

As for the toughest challenges the EPD has faced during his time, Kerns says it was the anarchist movement that emerged in the late 90s. 

“It was a pretty interesting challenge for the entire community," recalls Kerns.  "You know, we managed our way through it, and I think came out a much better organization…developed some pretty strong ties with activists, so that as they chose to express themselves through rallies and demonstrations, we were there to help them.  And that’s the practice that we have today.” 

As to current challenges, Kerns says issues of homelessness and addiction are more prevalent than ever.  He says the next chief of Eugene’s police department will have to be “professionally competent”. 

Kerns will stay on until a replacement is hired, which could take up to nine months.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.