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Vancouver police chief announces retirement

Police chief James McElvain will retire on June 30, 2022.
Credit: City of Vancouver
Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The chief of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced Thursday that he will retire this summer after serving more than eight years.

James McElvain will retire on June 30, 2022, according to a news release from the City of Vancouver. McElvain said it has been an honor to serve the community as police chief, but that it is time to step down and make way for someone else.

"I entered law enforcement, in part, to be a change agent and I feel I’ve accomplished that. As I begin my 36th year in policing, with more than eight years as chief in Vancouver, I find this to be an appropriate time to move aside for new leadership," McElvain said in a news release. "I’ll be leaving with a hopeful and positive vision for the department. It has truly been an honor and pleasure serving the Vancouver community alongside the men and women of the Vancouver Police Department who work with dedication and passion to keep the City safe and flourishing."

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McElvain was sworn in as police chief in December 2013. Prior to joining VPD, he served in the sheriff's department of Riverside County, California for more than 17 years, with a total of 28 years of law enforcement experience in southern California.  

In Thursday's news release the city manager of Vancouver said McElvain has been a steady and thoughtful leader.

"His commitment to working with the community to increase transparency, accountability, and equity while improving police and community relations and reducing police use of force incidents has been exemplary, said City Manager Eric Holmes.

The City of Vancouver plans to launch a national recruitment for the next police chief.