Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
September 17, 2013
INDEPENDENCE -- After almost 26 years with the Independence Police Department, Chief Vern Wells will retire effective Jan. 31.
Wells had been mulling retirement for some time but was waiting for the department to be in a stable position with funding and resources.
With the passing of the city's debt refinancing bond in May and the department's positive staffing condition, Wells decided the first of the year was the right time to leave and notified the city Thursday of his decision.
January also marks Wells' 40th year in law enforcement, making it an even more appropriate time to say goodbye, he said.
"My wife and I have been thinking about this for a while and determined when the best time would be," he said. "I wanted to do it when things were in pretty good shape. It seems like we're on an upward trend, which seems like the right time to hand it off to the next person."
Wells, 60, was hired as Independence's police chief in 1987 after shifting around from the Monmouth Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's office since 1974.
Come January, Wells plans on spending more time with his wife and kids, all of whom live in Monmouth and Independence, finally getting time to fish again and maybe even get back into the classroom at Western Oregon University as an adjunct professor.
At the city council meeting Tuesday, City Manager David Clyne will begin discussions on recruiting a new chief.