MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police Chief Scott Clauson will retire at the end of this year, the City of Medford announced on Wednesday. Clauson replaced former chief Randy Sparacino, now mayor, in August of 2019.
“This decision is bittersweet. The police department, as well as City staff, have become like a second family to me,” said Clauson. “This decision is largely due to the recent changes to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), specifically related to HB1049 that went into effect this year.”
Clauson has been with the City of Medford for 27 years, beginning as a part-time community service officer. He was hired as a police officer in July of 1995, going on to work in multiple units including the Crisis Negotiation Team, Financial Crimes Division, Gang & Street Drugs, and time as a School Resource Officer. He was appointed chief in 2019 after Randy Sparacino retired.
The City highlighted the beginnings of MPD's Livability Team under Clauson's watch, which officials say has become a model for other municipalities interested in alternative police responses for those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. The City also credited him with helping to bring body cams to the agency in 2016.
"Chief Clauson has lead our police department through some difficult challenges over the past two years,” said City Manager Brian Sjothun. “I am tremendously grateful for his leadership and support as we’ve navigated a global pandemic, social unrest, and implemented new public safety initiatives such as the Livability Team. His commitment to the City of Medford and the Medford Police Department has been incredible.”
The City of Medford says it will begin the hiring process for a new chief within the next 30 to 60 days.
“I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities and support that the City has extended to me. That support has allowed me to have a vibrant and fulfilling career. It has been a privilege and honor to have served this community over the past 27 years,” said Clauson.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.