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Vancouver taps internal candidate as next police chief

The city of Vancouver selected Jeff Mori on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 to be its new police chief.
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The city of Vancouver selected Jeff Mori on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 to be its new police chief.

The city of Vancouver has named its next police chief, and they’re going internal.

City officials on Wednesday announced Jeff Mori, assistant police chief at the department for the past three years, will take the agency’s top desk. Mori had spent 25 years prior with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

City Manager Eric Holmes made the choice from among five finalists. Besides Mori, two others were assistant chiefs from the agency. The other two came from police departments in Waterloo, Iowa, and Los Angeles.

As chief, Mori will lead the largest uniformed police force in Southwest Washington. Its immediate goals include launching a body-worn camera program. The agency is also, alongside the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, potentially facing an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over disparate policing practices.

Some of the civil rights groups who have led calls for a federal probe, however, publicly commended the city on its choice.

The Vancouver chapter of the NAACP said in a public statement it is “proud” of the pick. President Jasmine Tolbert said Mori has “shown consistent commitment in navigating difficult and systematic issues within our community.”

As assistant chief, Mori oversaw the agency’s administrative division. That division is in charge of officer training, background checks, recruitment, its public records division and internal affairs.

Mori said in a statement he was honored to be chosen. He will replace Chief James McElvain, who is retiring June 30. In his new role, Mori will make $213,384 annually.

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