Police Chief Robin Sells foregoes retirement
Gresham's chief of police has rescinded her retirement and will return to lead the Police Department in a reversal of what had been a series of shocking departures among city leadership.
Chief Robin Sells had been mulling a return after unexpectedly retiring earlier this month. She announced her decision to the city Tuesday afternoon, June 23, and will officially return to her role on Monday, June 29.
Sells stated through a press release that she will not be responding to media at this time.
Gresham was rocked this month by the retirements of City Manager Erik Kvarsten and Sells, as well as the resignation of Mayor Shane Bemis. All three occurred within one week — after accusations of systemic racism within City Hall and the police department were filed by a high-ranking Black employee.
In a letter sent to Gresham City Council, Sells wrote she was being threatened with labels of racism. That letter appeared to point to those threats as reason for her retirement on June 11. She also made strong retorts to Deputy City Manager Corey Falls, who is Black and previously worked under Sells at the police department, calling him "lazy" and questioning his qualifications.
Falls currently is vying to become Gresham's city manager.
In a statement Kvarsten said his successor "will need to work with council, the police department, and the community to build trust and advance pressing law enforcement policy reforms."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.