UOPD Assistant Chief candidate withdraws application
The only candidate for the Assistant Chief of the University of Oregon Police Department withdrew his application last week. Chou Her, who previously said he had been offered the position at the UOPD, cited personal conflicts as the main reason for withdrawing his candidacy.
“There were some conflicting personal issues,” Her said. “It’s a great opportunity, but not the right time.”
Her was the only candidate for the position. While waiting on the results of one final background check, Her struggled with the logistics of moving his entire family 600 miles north.
“My parents are at the age where relocation is hard,” Her said. He ultimately decided to remain in Merced, California, where he is the captain of the University of California, Merced police force.
The position is now open, with no immediate candidates according to UOPD.
“There are no other finalist candidates currently under consideration, and we have exhausted the existing pool of applicants,” Kelly McIver, UOPD Public Information Officer, said. “We will need to begin a new recruitment effort for the position, to attract new applicants to consider.”
According to UOPD, the position isn’t even technically open while the department reevaluates their approach in searching for new applicants.
That search may take a while. UOPD has been vetting candidates since April 1, 2015, when Captain Pete Deshpande announced his retirement. UOPD interviewed several candidates on campus in the following months. Her visited campus on October 28, 2015, but wasn’t moved to the background check phase until early December.
UOPD Chief Carolyn McDermed didn’t care to speculate on a timeline for hiring the new chief, but she was expecting one to be selected in a few months. That was before Her withdrew his candidacy.
The assistant chief is the second in command of the department. UOPD requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to law enforcement, five years of sworn officer experience and three years of management experience. Increased applicant requirements come as the university looks to finalize its transition from the Department of Public Safety to a full police force. That transition began in 2012, as McDermed was promoted to chief. McDermed was the last person to hold the assistant chief position. She hopes to find a candidate who will be “motivated to move the department forward in our current transition.”
UOPD’s job posting lists assistant chief duties as varied as supervision of all officers and “large-scale spectator and national event coordination.” McDermed also wants candidates who can “lead by example in our department and be a role model for our officers.”
Although the UOPD assistant chief position was either bad timing or not the right fit for Her, he still likes to keep an open view toward the future. He doesn’t have concrete goals beyond the UC Merced police department.