City of Gladstone hires interim police chief
Gladstone Administrator Jacque Betz has selected Kim Yamashita to serve as the city's interim police chief until a permanent chief can be recruited for an expected start date on June 30.
Yamashita is taking the oath of office at a Jan. 9 council meeting and will help the city design and construct a new police station.
Yamashita served as Sandy's police chief starting in 2010; Sandy's new police station opened in 2011. She took on the position of the city's lead administrator in January 2017 and retired from that position Dec. 31 of last year.
Describing her as "incredibly experienced," Betz said that the timing of Yamashita's retirement was optimum for recruiting her for a final stint as a small-town police chief in Clackamas County. Yamashita had planned to sell her farm in the Sandy area and move to Idaho, but luckily for Gladstone, her farm had not sold yet.
"We are very excited to have Kim as our interim police chief," Betz said. "Through the Oregon City Manager Association I heard that Kim was retiring from Sandy as a city manager, listing their house to sell and moving to Idaho. I decided to reach out to her since I knew that she was also an experienced police chief."
It was "very important" to Betz that former Chief Jeff Jolley concurred with the transition to hiring Yamashita.
"She will provide a smooth transition with daily police operations," Betz said. "Lt. Greg Fryett has also agreed to remain as the lieutenant for another year to provide continuity in department operations and to assist with progress on the new Gladstone Civic Center."
Over the six months she plans to serve as interim chief, Yamashita will be making the equivalent of a $117,948 annual salary ($9,829 per month for six months). Jolley made a $101,880 annual salary ($8,490 a month), but Betz said that Yamashita will be getting the same wage that Jolley would have gotten had he not left Gladstone for a police-chief position in Monroe, Washington, where he's making $141,480 a year. In November, Gladstone voters renewed a $2.3 million levy that will maintain the tax rate of 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value intended to bolster police-department budgets through 2024.
Thanks in part to a new police station that replaced an inadequate facility, Yamashita proved the Sandy Police Department met all 120 standards that the Oregon Accreditation Alliance required to be honored at the annual meeting of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police. Also in 2013, the Sandy City Council accepted her advice that the city should replace its entire fleet of police cars.
Yamashita's detective skills developed as a police officer for 17 years in the Vancouver and Washougal police department helped her manage multiple projects at once, according to the Sandy Post, a sister newspaper to the Clackamas Review. In her brief-but-busy time as city manager, she oversaw projects such as the city rebranding initiative, the preliminary planning of the Pleasant Street Master Plan and Sandy Community Campus and the creation of an arts commission and youth council, to name a few. Prior to becoming a police officer, Yamashita served in the U.S. Air Force starting in 1981.