Portland mayor announces police chief's retirement, successor - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland mayor announces police chief's retirement, successor

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Capt. Mike Marshman will take over the role of chief of police Capt. Mike Marshman will take over the role of chief of police
Former Portland Police Bureau Chief Larry O'Dea (KPTV file image) Former Portland Police Bureau Chief Larry O'Dea (KPTV file image)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea will retire amid several internal and external investigations into a shooting that injured his friend.

In a news conference Monday morning, Mayor Charlie Hales made the announcement while decrying what he called a "trial by media" and praising O'Dea's tenure at the Portland Police Bureau.

"I'm still waiting on for the outcome of investigations that I expected would be confidential and swift and they've been neither," Hales said.

O'Dea has been on leave since late May while multiple agencies investigate an off-duty shooting involving O'Dea and one of his friends.

According to a law enforcement summary of the incident, O'Dea was drinking and shooting at squirrels with a group of friends in Harney County on April 21 when one of the men was shot. 

According to law enforcement, O'Dea told a deputy investigating the incident that it appeared his friend, Robert Dempsey, 54, was trying to holster a pistol and accidentally shot himself.

Weeks later, Dempsey told investigators that O'Dea shot him.

Hales said Monday that O'Dea recognized the "strain on the bureau" from the investigation and decided to retire.

Captain Mike Marshman will serve as the new chief of police.

Hales said Marshman helped lead reform efforts within the Portland Police Bureau and is known as a "deliberate and thoughtful leader."

The Portland Police Association released a statement praising the appointment of Marshman as chief, saying:

"We are optimistic that Chief Marshman can breathe new life into our Police Bureau. Mayor Hales made a tough decision. It was the right one. Taking the step of appointing a new interim chief was absolutely necessary."

Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler also praised the decision, calling Marshman a "quality choice to fill the role of Portland Police Chief."

Wheeler continued, "I expect him to bring stability to the department and begin to address the significant public safety issues that exist in our community."

Hales said Marshman would be sworn in as chief of police Monday.

Hales' news conference was briefly disrupted by protesters before moving to a more private location within City Hall.

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