The City of Eugene invites the public to honor Chief Pete Kerns' 34 years of service to the community and his retirement from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on December 12, 2017, First Baptist Church, 3550 Fox Meadow Road, Eugene. A reception will follow the program with light refreshments and coffee. Florence Chief Tom Turner will be Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Chief Kerns announced his retirement on March 27, 2017, and agreed to remain as chief while the City began the process of hiring a new chief. On October 16, 2017, the chief accepted a position as chief of staff of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (SVDP) and set December 11, 2017, as his last day with Eugene Police Department.
Pete Kerns assumed duties as the Chief of Police for the Eugene Police Department in October, 2008. He has served the City of Eugene Police Department in a variety of disciplines since July 1983.
Chief Pete Kerns began his career as a reserve police officer in 1981, was hired as a full time officer in 1983, and subsequently worked as a patrol officer until he was promoted to agent in 1989. While in Patrol he was a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, the Fatal Accident Investigations Team, the Defensive Instructors Team, and was one of the department’s Field Training Officers. He was assigned to the Property Crimes Unit in 1990, then transferred as a detective to the Lane County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) where he was promoted to sergeant in 1995 and supervised the interagency team. In 1999, he was promoted to lieutenant and served as the Eugene Police Department’s West Sector commander and as a watch commander. In 2003, he became the Special Operations Section’s commander in charge of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and the Crowd Control Team, with responsibilities including management of the Explosive Disposal Unit, Crisis Negotiation Team, Firearms Program, Honor Guard, Traffic Enforcement Unit, School Resource Team, and Patrol K9 Team. Throughout his career, Chief Kerns has worked with community groups, neighborhoods and business associations to promote safety through problem oriented, neighborhood based community policing.
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