Oregon commissioners approve new job descriptions for police officers, first responder resiliency program

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OREGON – City police officers now have updated, more detailed job descriptions thanks to action by city commissioners Tuesday night.

The unanimous approval follows last month’s separation agreement with police Chief Joe Brooks, which prompted city officials to update existing job descriptions for the police department.

City Manager Darin DeHaan on June 25 told the council that he was working on completing more detailed job descriptions for police department personnel, including one for the chief.

Brooks had been off duty for several months for personal reasons before a mutual agreement was made to end his employment, effective July 1, DeHaan said. Commissioners approved the separation agreement after a closed session.

Brooks was appointed chief in 2022 after Shawn Melville left the city to pursue other employment.

Deputy Chief Matt Kalnins has been overseeing the police department in Brooks’ absence.

DeHaan said updating the job descriptions was recommended by a human resources firm and clarifies the chain of command while creating a measure of standards for performance reviews.

The council also approved a first responder resiliency program, which DeHaan said would be used to help create a culture for mental health awareness and support for first responders.

DeHaan, who served as the city’s police chief before becoming city manager, said the program is designed to support first responders and their families throughout their careers in law enforcement. He first presented it to commissioners at the June 25 meeting.

“With recent events, it was pushed to the forefront again,” DeHaan said.

Kalnins said that early in his career, resources were unavailable. He said a committee would be created to organize resources to be available to first responders.

“We should have had [this] in place for a long time,” DeHaan said. “This is for all our current and future officers.”

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.