Sunriver Police announced Chief Michael Womer will retire Thursday, ending a 28-year career and nine years in Sunriver.
Lt. Stephen Lopez has been appointed by the Sunriver Service District Board to be the new police chief, the department announced Wednesday. He’ll start the new job on Friday.
“I have been profoundly humbled and grateful to have had the privilege of living in and serving this community, while working with such incredible and noble public servants. It has been an honor and I leave with confidence that Chief Stephen Lopez will be a great change leader who will do far better than I,” Womer said in a statement.
Sunriver PD says Lopez is 17-year law enforcement veteran. He worked at the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office from 2006 to 2020, working up to the rank of lieutenant. He joined Sunriver Police in January 2021 as a sergeant and was promoted to lieutenant in 2022.
Lopez is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a Master of Public Safety Degree from the University of Virginia, the department said.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the Chief of Police for such a professional department and such a supportive community. I look forward to fostering relationships and leading one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state. I am grateful for Chief Womer’s guidance and leadership and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement” Lopez said in a statement.
Lopez also teaches Criminal Justice courses at Central Oregon Community College and is the Summit High School Girl’s Varsity Rugby Head Coach, the department said.