SPRINGFIELD, Ore .-- Andrew Shearer was sworn in as the Springfield Police Department's interim police chief Monday and shared his vision for the police force, which has been involved in several recent controversies.
Shearer is taking the seat following former police chief Richard Lewis's retirement while on administrative leave. Lewis had been accused of mishandling a sex scandal involving a female police recruit and two veteran officers.
The interim chief said that he hopes to develop a culture of transparency and accountability in the department and foster partnership with community members and other public safety stakeholders.
"I make a promise to you all that I will do everything in my power to ensure that we provide police service to the city of Springfield in a manner that increases trust and legitimacy through transparency, accountability and respect for every individual's constitutional rights," he said after being sworn in.
Shearer also said that he hopes that the community's pride in their police officers will help create collaboration to improve their performance.
"We will continually own and learn from our shortcomings, our mistakes and our failings. But most importantly, we will be relentless in our neverending pursuit of professional development," he said.
Mayor Sean VanGordon told KEZI 9 News that he is confident Chief Shearer can unite Springfield's politically diverse community behind a transparent and fair police force.
"Having a new chief in place is going to help the conversation quite a bit. This isn't about litigating things that happened in the past. It's about how do we bring the whole community forward," said VanGordon.