LA GRANDE — The Oregon State Police La Grande Area Command office will have a new area commander effective July 1.

State police Superintendent Richard Evans Jr. appointed Lt. Steve Smartt, 52, to take over as the post’s commander following the retirement of Lt. Gordon Larson.

Smartt transferred from the Coos Bay Area Command office where he worked his way through the ranks from trooper to lieutenant, a position he held since his promotion in 2003, according to a written statement from OSP.

The La Grande Area Command office oversees patrol, fish and wildlife and criminal operations at offices in Union, Baker and Wallowa counties. The three offices have a combined total staff of 37 sworn officers and five non-sworn employees.

Smartt’s transfer to Eastern Oregon means Lt. Steve Mitchell, 40, takes over as Coos Bay Area Commander, also effective July 1.

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