To the citizens we serve: I cannot begin to say how exciting this opportunity to serve you as the chief of police is, not only for me personally, but my entire family. Though I do find it uncomfortable to talk about myself, I believe it is noteworthy to highlight I was born and raised here and have absolutely no desire to live anywhere but here. My wife (Angelique) and I choose to live in Hermiston and even though we are about to watch one of our children leave the nest upon graduation, we love the opportunities this community has provided to/for our kids.

Specific to the Hermiston Police Department, I continue to be amazed with the support our agency has received over the years from the citizens and from city leaders. This department has grown in professional training, meaningful programs, and currently has more employees continuing their formal education than we have ever experienced. We know that working smarter (not necessarily harder) is the prudent thing to do, especially in the tough national economic times.

Fortunately, for our community we are in a position to continue to be able to survive the challenges with conservative and consistent decision making at all levels of our local government.

The last eight-plus months in this agency have been exciting, rewarding, challenging, and just about every other adjective one could muster into thought. One thing, however, has remained consistent: the desire of the employees to continue to serve and operate at high levels of performance to ensure the job is done. Each of us has chosen this profession to serve, and each of us (I believe) takes that seriously. I am a firm believer in surrounding yourself with top-notch people and I have been afforded the opportunity to be able to watch and learn from each of these servants, be it council members, the city manager, other department heads, other department employees, or members of the Hermiston Police Department. We are all working in unison and that truly is an awesome feat.

Though I try to view things as half-full, this is not to say we do not have some significant challenges on the horizon, because we do.

For me, though I feel I have a decent grasp on how to perform in this role, I am not always going to get it right, I may not always say the right things, and I may at times offend people with what I say.

One thing is for certain, I will always make decisions based on what I believe best serves our community, our department, and our employees. I will leave myself out of that equation as this truly is about “we, not me.”

City Manager Ed Brookshier and I have been working on some information that is relevant to the recent organizational review conducted by Greg Willeford. In that review, Mr. Willeford talks about the necessity of “Keep doing what you’ve been doing for the last seven months” with regard to flow of information (communication).

I believe the document and plan is well thought out, continues to keep us on this path of exceptional information flow at all levels, and provides opportunities for you the citizens to attend the public safety committee meetings, which will continue to be held regularly.

These are exciting times for our department and for our city. If there are any concerns or questions, feel free to contact me directly.

•

Jason Edmiston is chief of police for the city of Hermiston. He can be reached at 541-667-5107.

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