David Bishop began his career as a city patrol officer in 1962

Beaverton Police Chief David G. Bishop plans to retire July 1 after 15 years at the helm of the Beaverton Police Department.

'I've had the pleasure of working with some of the finest men and women in the country,' Bishop said Tuesday. 'I've also been blessed to serve a fantastic community that totally supports the police department and shows that support over and over.

'The team I work with is outstanding. I'm confident that they are prepared for the future.'

It's time, he said of his reasons for retiring from his 44-year law enforcement career.

He joined the Beaverton police force as a patrol officer in 1962 and worked his way up through the ranks to captain. In 1984, Bishop became Newberg's chief of police. He returned to his Beaverton roots in 1993, when Mayor Rob Drake hired him back to serve as chief.

'I've had the opportunity to watch this department grow into the fine agency it has become,' Bishop said. 'It's been like planting a tree and watching it continue to bloom and branch out.

'I've had a good ride. I'm not sure I'd do anything differently.'

Bishop is responsible for introducing the community policing philosophy to the department and encouraging officers to partner with residents to be proactive in fostering a safe community.

Community policing is now an expected way of doing business that is taught in the police academy.

'He always wanted us to be on the cutting edge and that's where we are today,' said Capt. Terry Merritt, who has been a member of the agency for 22 years. 'Beyond his experience in the field, he's been an incredible mentor to all of us.

'For many of our officers, Chief Bishop is the only police chief they've ever known.'

Under his administration, the department has implemented numerous award-winning programs, which have been modeled after by cities and police agencies nationwide.

From supporting the creation of multi-agency teams to an internationally recognized identity theft and fraud enforcement program to being one of only three agencies selected to participate in a victims' assistance pilot program organized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Bishop has ensured that Beaverton officers remain industry leaders.

'He has been an incredible visionary,' Merritt said. 'With every program, he made it a priority to get the community involved.'

Mayor Rob Drake said it was a sad day when Bishop shared his plans to retire.

'I knew this day would come and I've not looked forward to it,' Drake said. 'His long and successful career has forever left a positive mark on public safety in Washington County and Oregon.

'His reach has touched all aspects of the public safety community. He's built a really good organization and has hired really outstanding men and women in the department that will carry on his good work.'

The search for Bishop's replacement will be difficult, he added.

'These are big shoes to fill,' Drake said.

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