Bend’s new police chief was sworn in Monday.
Michael Krantz took the oath of office in a small private ceremony at the Bend Municipal Court inside the police station.
He comes from Portland where he served as an assistant chief.
Krantz said it’s a difficult time to take over a police agency because the pandemic makes it challenging to get to know the community.
“We’re also in a time where the killing of George Floyd has really brought a lot of emotion, anger and frustrations with really many people in the country,” he said. “And, that has brought challenges to law enforcement around making sure that we’re able to listen and engage with people.”
His hiring hasn’t come without some controversy from some who link Krantz to the Portland Police Bureau’s use of tear gas on protesters in recent weeks and years.
Even Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel questioned the hire.
And on Monday, a group of local faith leaders issued a statement concerned about his work in Portland.
The group, called “Re-Imagine Oregon” wants assurances that Bend Police won’t use tear gas on peaceful protestors, among other things.
Krantz said he plans to spend his first month as chief meeting with a variety of people and groups, especially those who are frustrated.