City Manager Jon Ruiz has selected Chris Skinner to serve as Eugene’s next Police Chief. Skinner is expected to join 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.
“Chris is known for building relationships, using innovative approaches, and leading by example,” said Ruiz. “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.”
Skinner emerged as the top candidate for the position after an extensive nationwide search that culminated in a three day interview process last week. The process included four community panels involving 25 community members as well as a youth panel, a community forum attended by approximately 85 people, and the review of community input collected in person and online.
“The City of Eugene and its Police Department has a longstanding tradition of excellence and I’m honored and excited to be selected as the next Police Chief,” said Skinner. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Eugene and I truly look forward to working with the department and the entire community.”
Skinner has served as Richland, Washington’s, Chief of Police since 2011 and has 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 has focused on growing the police department’s communication and community policing efforts while implementing data-driven initiatives to reduce crime. He currently serves 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.
Over 1300 people participated in a broad community input process last summer 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 on 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; and 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.