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Police Captain Boyd is retiring

Leadership changes continue at the Prineville Police Department as Capt. Michael Boyd has announced plans to retire.

City Manager Steve Forrester confirmed the decision on Monday after rumors of his departure had emerged late last week. Boyd will remain with the force through Sept. 13. He could not be reached for comment prior to press deadline.

Though the news came without any advanced public warning, Forrester said he knew the decision was coming.

“Captain Boyd has been talking with me for several months about his upcoming retirement,” he said, “and he had made a commitment to his family at the end of 30 years of service that he would go into retirement.”

Boyd was hired as captain of the police department in July 2003. Prior to his employment in Prineville, he served as the police chief in Marysville, Calif.

Forrester characterized Boyd’s decision as a semi-retirement, noting that he would continue to pursue public safety interests including police academy training, handgun class instruction, and other volunteer work.

“I think there are some other agencies that have approached him,” Forrester added.

The retirement plan was made public on the heels of some major changes in the police department. Eric Bush was recently fired from his police chief post following a lengthy investigation into multiple misconduct allegations. The report and subsequent firing prompted Bush to file a lawsuit against the city with Boyd named as one of several defendants.

In the report, compiled by the Local Government Personnel Institute, interviewed police sergeant Jimmy O’Daniel characterized the investigation as a witch hunt in which people were jockeying to take over the position of chief.

In the past, Boyd had served as the interim police chief when Bush, who is a brigadier general in the Oregon National Guard, had been deployed for military service. He was tabbed as the interim chief following the termination of Bush as well, but last week, the city announced the hire of interim chief Les Stiles. As a result, Boyd was going to resume full-time duty as police captain.

Despite the timing of the retirement announcement, Forrester insists that Boyd’s decision is not in response to the lawsuit or recent hire of Stiles. To the contrary, he said that Boyd was kept on the force longer than originally planned to lead the police force during the Bush investigation.

“He made it very clear to me over the last several months that this was something he was looking at doing and, of course, given the situation, we encouraged him to hold off as long as possible.”

Going forward, Stiles has yet to decide on a replacement for Boyd. Since he has no intention of filling the permanent chief role, he believes the best course of action is to appoint an interim captain and let the permanent chief hire a police captain.

“The next choice is do we fill it internally or externally?” Stiles continued. He noted that filling it internally creates potential staffing issues because if someone moves up to the captain position, they leave an open position, and someone has to fill it. Potentially, the chain reaction could leave them short a patrol officer.

“In a small agency like this, the single most critical positions are our patrol positions,” he said.

Stiles said that filling the captain position is on his radar, but is not something that needs urgently addressed.

“That won’t happen until I talk to every single member of this agency and have gotten their input,” he said.

As he departs, Forrester said he and other city staff were pleased with the service Boyd provided the community.

“We are going to celebrate his retirement and wish him the best as he enters into a new phase of his life,” he concluded.




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