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After James McElvain's retirement, Vancouver is looking for a new police chief

After James McElvain's retirement, Vancouver is looking for a new police chief

After about eight years in charge, Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain has decided to retire.

The last day of McElvain will be June 30, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

McElvains efforts to restructure Vancouver Police culture, policies and practices around force based on research conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, a non-profit organization that analyzed the department's use of force policies after police officers were involved in four different incidents in early 2019.

The unusual number of incidents in a short time frame drew significant attention to the public, according to the police department.

In November 2021, advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, will launch a civil rights investigation into the Department of Vancouver and Clark County Sheriffs Office for alleged excessive force and discriminatory policing.

According to a letter to the Justice Department, three of the men were Black and two were Pacific Islanders. Others were in a mental health problem or suicidal.

McElvain's retirement announcement comes after four officers were involved in a.

After a disturbance at a mobile park home, Ku Huitzil, 45, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Ku Huitzil was fatally shot and armed with a knife while approaching police.

McElvain oversaw the creation of the department's body and vehicle camera pilot program, which was initiated in December 2021.

No officer involved in Sunday's fatal shooting were a member of the camera testing group, but no one else was outfitted with cameras. The names of the involved officers have not been released as of Friday morning. The officers are on paid administrative leave, a standard department policy.

McElvain, according to Vancouver City manager Eric Holmes, is a "strategic and thoughtful leader."

Over the last two years, he has been a steady, compassionate leader in some of the most difficult times for policing in a generation, Holmes said.

After 20 years of the department outsourcing to Clark County, McElvain grew up as an in-house record business.

As I begin my 36th year in policing, I find this to be an appropriate time to retreat to leadership. Ill be leaving with a hopeful and positive outlook for the department.

McElvain served in Riverside County, California for more than 17 years, and gained a total of 28 years of law enforcement experience.

Vancouver has said that it would make a national recruiting effort for the next officers in the city.

--Savannah Eadens; seadens@oregonian.com; 503-221-6651; @savannaheadens

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