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Starting next month, the St. Helens Police Department will have a new chief of police.

St. Helens Police Lt. Terry Moss formally accepted the job offer March 12 and will take over when Chief Steve Salle retires April 1.

When he announced his retirement, Salle urged the St. Helens City Council to consider Moss as the top candidate for the job, saying there was no one he could think of who was better suited to take over the department.

The recommendation did not catch the council by surprise.

“We’ve been sort of grooming [Moss] for the last couple of years because we knew Steve was going to be leaving,” said City Councilor Keith Locke, who is the council’s liaison to the police department.

“The biggest thing is everybody on the force respects him, and the community respects him,” Locke said.

Other council members and department heads have spoken highly of Moss, saying he is comfortable speaking in public and interacting with community members.

As chief, Moss will have to tackle multiple challenges, including a tight budget, aging vehicles and equipment and possible changes.

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