The city of North Bend tapped two very familiar police officers to lead the city’s department temporarily.
City Administration David Milliron named Gary McCullough as interim police chief Tuesday and Cal Mitts and interim captain.
Both men retired recently from the Coos Bay Police Department after long and decorated careers in Coos Bay.
McCullough retired as the Coos Bay police chief in June after serving in that capacity for 12 years. McCullough, who lives in North Bend, began his career as a reserve officer with the Coos Bay Police Department in 1993. He served in the department for the next 28 years, moving to officer, sergeant, captain and, finally, chief in 2009.
During his career with Coos Bay, McCullough held the positions of patrol officer, field training officer, motorcycle officer, Coos County Emergency Response Team member, survival skills instructor, patrol sergeant, operations captain and administrative captain.
McCullough said serving his hometown temporarily is something he looks forward to.
“I have resided in North Bend for over 30 years, and I am looking forward to working with the men and women that make up the North Bend Police Department, city staff, city council and members of this community,” McCullough said.
The new North Bend chief has an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice from Columbia Southern University, is a graduate of the Oregon Executive Development Institute and holds his basic, intermediate, advanced, supervisory, management and executive certificates with the Oregon Department of Safety Standards and Training. McCullough has also been very active in the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, holding various leadership and executive roles.
Mitts also had a long, decorated career with the Coos Bay Police Department before retiring earlier this year. He began his law enforcement career in 1994 as a reserve officer in Coos Bay and was sworn in as a full-time police officer in December 1995. He was later promoted to sergeant and later captain, where he served from 2012 until his retirement.
In 2012, he was chosen to lead the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team as its executive director.
During his career with Coos Bay and SCINT, Mitts held positions of patrol officer, detective, narcotics detective, firearms instructor, patrol sergeant, operations captain and executive director. He was also a Coos County Emergency Response Team and Coos County Major Crimes Team member. Mitts also served on the Women’s Safety and Resource Board of Directors.
“I am looking forward to working with the members of the North Bend Police Department and serving the community of North Bend,” Mitts said.
Captain Mitts is a graduate of the Oregon Executive Development Institute and holds his basic, intermediate, advanced and supervisory certificates with the Oregon Department of Safety Standards and Training.
McCullough and Mitts are both military veterans; McCullough served in the United States Navy and Mitts in the United States Army.
“Chief McCullough and Captain Mitts are professional law enforcement veterans with the highest leadership ability, dedication and solid ethics,” Milliron said.
Among his tasks for North Bend, McCullough will assist the city in assessing future needs, developing long-term strategies for the city’s police department and assisting in recruiting and onboarding a permanent chief who will lead North Bend into the future. McCullough said he is not seeking out the permanent chief position because he would like to focus on his family.
“Once we have a roadmap and the police department is stabilized, we can begin the collaborative process of recruiting and hiring a new police chief, which could take up to a year,” Milliron said. “I want to express my thanks and appreciation to Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock, Coos Bay Police Chief Chris Chapanar, Police Captains Michael Shaffer and Tom Lindahl, and Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier for their leadership and assistance during the past two weeks. Our strong, trusting and authentic relationships came to light during this period of transition.”
As requested by the city council, North Bend will continue to move forward with plans for a 360-degree operational assessment of the police department. The interim police chief and supervisory staff will have an opportunity to provide input into the request for proposal document before being put out for bid.