New Eugene Police Chief

Police Chief Finalist Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner Selected as Eugene Police Chief 

City Manager Jon Ruiz selected Chris Skinner to serve as Eugene’s Police Chief. Skinner joined the City on April 30, 2018.

Ruiz noted Skinner’s demonstrated leadership abilities and depth of experience as qualities that are important to the department and the community and will help make him an effective police chief.

Extensive Nationwide Search

Skinner emerged as the top candidate for the position after an extensive nationwide search that culminated in a three-day interview process including: 

  • 4 community panels involving 25 community members as well as a youth panel
  • A community forum attended by approximately 85 people
  • Review of community input collected in person and online

"Chris is known for building relationships, using innovative approaches, and leading by example. He has an authentic and inclusive leadership style, and we’ve heard from people across the northwest that he is an experienced and well-respected law enforcement professional. I am confident he will lead our police department with fairness and compassion in a way that builds trust within EPD and with the community.”

-Jon Ruiz, Eugene City Manager

'An experienced and well-respected law enforcement professional'

Skinner served as Richland, Washington’s, Chief of Police from 2011 to 2018 and brings 27 years of police and public safety experience. Skinner began his public safety career in Oregon with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked throughout the county, including with Oregon State University.

During his tenure with the Hillsboro Police Department from 2001 to 2011, Skinner moved up the ranks from Police Lieutenant, to Commander, and then Deputy Chief. While there, he had the opportunity to work with diverse populations and initiated a Domestic Violence Response Team to better serve victims of domestic abuse in the community.

In Richland, Skinner focused on growing the police department’s communication and community policing efforts while implementing data-driven initiatives to reduce crime. He served as a Co-Chair of the Tri-City Coalition against Trafficking and the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Taskforce against the Trafficking of Humans. Within his department, he also created an Internet Crimes against Children taskforce.

Skinner is a founding Co-Chair of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chief’s Public Trust Committee which uses 21st Century Policing to guide work aimed at building trust between public safety agencies and communities across Washington.

Skinner earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from George Fox University and a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Psychology from Western Oregon University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Broad Community Process

Over 1,300 people participated in a broad community input process in the summer of 2017 to inform Eugene’s Police Chief position description. 

The information collected was also used to help create a robust interview process and key review criteria including: 

  • A policing philosophy focused progressive policing strategies and building a positive culture of continuous learning and improvement
  • Relevant work-related experience such as senior leadership roles, specialized training and experience managing a police department
  • The potential for building trust and engagement within the community

Skinner’s education, skills and demonstrated experience align both with the criteria generated by the community and the current needs of the organization. His commitment to recruitment, training and retention of a highly-trained workforce has been reflected throughout his career.

Skinner will receive an annual salary of $153,171. Eugene’s Police Chief is responsible for the overall leadership and administration of the Police Department which employs about 190 sworn officers and 140 civilian employees who provide a variety of police services with an operational budget of over $50 million.