COTTAGE GROVE — The City’s new police chief will either be Cory Chase, who is the Port of Portland Police Department assistant chief of police, or Sean Lundry, who is the Sandy Police Department lieutenant – and that decision will be made by City Manager Richard Meyers soon.
“After tonight, we get down to the nitty gritty of the decision making, and that of course is Richard’s decision,” said Jeff Groth, who is Cottage Grove Police Department’s interim police chief.
According to the candidates, Chase and Lundry:
• Both value honesty, integrity, and accountability
• Both have worked as police officers for more than 20 years in various leadership roles
• Both would need to move south to Cottage Grove
• Both admired Cottage Grove’s hospitality and small-town energy
• Both knew there is necessary rebranding of CGPD and were up to take on that challenge
• Both value communication and mending relationships with stakeholders and community members
• Both had similar opinions on ensuring mental health is a topic that is acknowledged and want to work with community resources and organizations when policing mental health crises.
What sets Lundry apart is his education, he said. Lundry has a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a Master’s degree in management.
“The skills that I learned in school will really help me move forward,” Lundry said. “I need to come into this community and learn a lot. I need to listen more than I talk. There’s probably really good ideas within this community – in fact, I know that there are really good ideas in this community. I need to be open and listen to those ideas, and I’m the type of leader that will do that.
Chase sets himself apart as a candidate through the way he passionately speaks about empathy.
“I say this almost every day: If you don’t have empathy for human beings, and you don’t have empathy for people, this is not the profession for you to be in,” Chase said.
Meyers said he is in a hurry to make an official offer to one of these men because there were actually supposed to be three candidates. The third, whose name was not released to the public, took a job as a captain somewhere in California.
“Either candidate will work and be a great police chief for us,” Meyers said. “These are really great candidates, and our third candidate got a new job so we don’t want to dilly around while we’ve got these two essentially on the hook.”