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And then there were three ...

Search for LOPD chief is now in the home stretch
by: FILE PHOTO Lake Oswego Po-lice Chief Dan Duncan died from a heart attack in May 2010.

The quest for the new chief of the Lake Oswego Police Department is down to its final three candidates.

'I think we have three really good candidates,' said David Donaldson, assistant city manager for the city of Lake Oswego. 'We're zeroing in on their backgrounds and references, and we hope to make an offer by the third week of May.'

The search has been an exhaustive process. Eighty candidates applied for the LOPD chief job from states such as Washington, California, Arizona and Colorado, as well as Oregon.

With so many candidates, there was the potential of an unwieldy process, but Donaldson said the city's method has worked extremely well.

'We've used three panels, including emergency officials, community leaders and residents,' Donaldson said. 'Our police staff has been a great help. This method has helped our city manager (Alex McIntyre) get a lot of insight and information. I think he feels real good about the process.'

Once the top candidate is selected, Donaldson said there will be even more effort, including physical and psychological tests.

'Getting the right police chief is so important,' Donaldson said. 'There is a lot more involved than in hiring for other city positions.'

The LOPD has been led by Capt. Don Forman as interim chief ever since the Chief Dan Duncan died from a heart attack in May 2010.

The new permanent chief is expected to begin duties in June.