Bret Smith retires as chief, Jorge Tro takes over, and Doug Kitzmiller promoted to captain

COURTESY PHOTO - Jorge Tro offers Chief Bret Smith a farewell hug at Smith's retirement April 1.The retirement of Bret Smith as chief set into motion a shuffling of leadership at the Canby Police Department.

Smith said his goodbyes on April 1 to officially mark his retirement as Canby Police chief. He served for 40 years in law enforcement and more than 11 in Canby.

"I just want to thank Canby for their support of our police department and me over the years," Smith said. "I really appreciate that. When we're working together, we get a lot done and accomplish much and create a safe city. Thank you for that opportunity."

Then Jorge Tro was instated as the new chief at the Wednesday, April 7, City Council meeting, and Doug Kitzmiller was sworn in as captain to take Tro's place. A new officer, Todd Trapp, also took his oath of office at the meeting.

COURTESY PHOTO - From left, Todd Trap, Jorge Tro and Doug Kitzmiller take their oaths of office during the Wednesday, April 7, Canby City Council meeting.

"As you know, I have big shoes to fill with the retirement of Chief Smith," Tro said. "For 11 years, he's taught me a lot. He's been a mentor and a friend and a great leader, and he definitely will be missed."

Tro also introduced and thanked his wife, Karen Tro, and shared a little bit about himself.

Tro has been in law enforcement for about 25 years, 23 of those in Canby.

"And I'll tell you right now, there is no place I would rather work than this community," Tro said.

Tro said he not only works in Canby, but he is a part of the community, having raised his children in the town and sent them through Canby schools. He also has been a part of various organizations. Tro said he cares about Canby and its safety. He is proud Canby is named one of the state's safest cities year after year.

COURTESY PHOTO - Karen Tro pins the badge on new Canby Police Chief Jorge Tro.He suggested it is not the chief who makes a department, but its patrol officers, detectives, sergeants, records staff, code enforcement, command staff and the community.

"My dad always told me from an early age, 'Whatever you do, do your best,'" Tro said. "As next chief, I will do my best. Thank you for this opportunity."

Next, Tro introduced Kitzmiller as the new captain. Kitzmiller started with the Canby Police Department in January 1998. Prior to that, he was a reserve officer with the West Point Police Department and worked parking enforcement in Oregon City.

During his time off, Kitzmiller enjoys hunting, spending time with his family and watching his kids play sports.

"It truly is an honor to stand up here and get promoted to the position of captain within our agency," Kitzmiller said. "Like Chief Tro said, I've been with the city for a long time. I've seen a lot of changes within the city — a lot of growth and also changes within our own department. But the one thing that hasn't changed is the support that we've received from the community, and that's always meant a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to the other officers in our agency."

Kitzmiller's father, Al Kitzmiller, also served in law enforcement and retired from the Oregon City Police Department in the same role as his son was just promoted to. Kitzmiller offered gratitude to his family, including his wife, children, parents and in-laws.

Next up was the new officer, Trapp, who comes to Canby after serving as a Portland Police officer. Trapp grew up moving between WaKeeney, Kansas, and Oregon. While studying to earn his master's degree at Portland State University, Trapp became involved in a youth ministry out of Canby Grove. There, he met his wife, Katie, and the two now have five children, the youngest of whom was just born.

Trapp's father also served as a police officer, and Trapp always wanted to follow in his footsteps.

"We are very fortunate to have Todd Trapp as a Canby Police officer," Tro said. "He is excited to work and build relationships in a smaller community."

Following the introductions, a judge swore in all three to their new positions.

Kristen Wohlers
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