Police Chief Chuck Lovell Steps Down

Retired Deputy chief Bob Day will take over for now, and a new mayor will pick the next chief.

Lovell Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell at the scene where an officer was injured and a subject killed on Aug. 27, 2021. (Justin Yau)

Chief Chuck Lovell is stepping down after three years atop the Portland Police Bureau.

Lovell took over on June 11, 2020, after the surprise exit of former Chief Jami Resch, and has presided over the force during the tumultuous period following the summer of George Floyd protests. Amid record homicide levels, the bureau has struggled to hire officers and has been unable to fully address concerns from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding use of force against people with mental illness and protesters.

“Chief Lovell has led the Bureau through unprecedented times with a steady and reliable hand,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a press release this afternoon. “He has nothing but my support, admiration, and gratitude for his service.”

Lovell, 49, joined the bureau in 2002 after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He rose through the ranks before becoming executive assistant to Chief Danielle Outlaw and acting captain of the new Community Services Division. His appointment to chief, the bureau’s 50th, in 2020 was a surprise; he’d been promoted to captain only days prior.

Lovell is now moving to a new role “leading the Bureau’s community engagement efforts,” according to the mayor’s release.

Bob Day, who retired as deputy chief in 2019, will take the reins as the city hunts for his replacement.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced he’s not running for reelection as the city braces for sweeping changes to the city charter that go into effect in 2025, expanding the City Council and shifting management of city bureaus to a city administrator. Day will serve until that summer, “to allow the newly elected mayor and City Council to determine future leadership of the bureau,” the release says.

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