PRINEVILLE, OR -- For the last 15 months, Les Stiles has served as Prineville's Interim Police Chief, but he will hand over the reins on Tuesday. Former Deschutes County Sheriff Stiles stepped in after the city fired its previous Chief, last year.
He says he's leaving a couple months ahead of schedule because he has reached his goals, including updating the department's accreditation. He tells KBND News he recently told City Administrator Steve Forrester, "'I've completed everything you wanted completed. And, if I leave two months early, that salary savings will fill a nice hole to fill the last vacant officer position that will be there March first. Will you commit to putting the salary savings in that hole so they can hire an officer, and we're done?' He said, 'Les, go!'"
Stiles admits he stayed longer than most interim Chiefs. "Pretty generally, interims are around for 6-9 months, and you find your replacement and move on. There was a unique set of circumstances there, with what Steve [Forrester] wanted done, that took it longer. And, in the last 15-16 months, it's been some of the most gratifying months in my career. It was really gratifying to work with a team of people, and it was a small enough agency, that you know everybody." He says he plans to take time to fish, work on his house and read. His wife Carol just retired this summer.
Prineville Captain Dale Cummins (pictured) will be sworn in as Chief Tuesday afternoon. He served as Deputy Chief with Gresham Police before moving to Prineville.