It stood just in the boardroom at Vancouver City Hall, and people peeked out of the hallway to watch as Jeffrey Morey was sworn in as Vancouver’s new police chief on Thursday night.
After Mori took the oath, his wife Susan changed his badge to a leader badge, and his two brothers and daughter-in-law adorned his collar with three-star pins.
In an interview before the ceremony, Mori said he was humble and proud to be entrusted to head the Vancouver Police Department, where he has served as assistant chief for the past three years. According to him, his career in law enforcement was something he never imagined when he grew up, let alone to become a leader 29 years later.
He turns to James McAlwayne, who was since 1962 – the longest head of the department. Prior to McAlwayne’s eight-year tenure, the agency had gone through a number of executives; Mori noted that the department has not seen a smooth transition of leadership for a long time.
McAlwayne watched the ceremony from the audience, and Mori thanked him for bringing him on board three years ago. Mori also noted family members, former colleagues and old teammates on the football team who traveled to the city on the occasion.
Mori was chosen from Fr. a pool of five finalists and was one of three domestic candidates, in addition to a candidate from Los Angeles and another from Waterloo, Iowa.
“It is an honor to be elected, especially from among the candidates we had,” he said before the ceremony. “I feel very humiliated that I was elected. I know it’s hard work. “
On the morning of the oath, Mori joked that his first order after the oath would be to move his belongings to McAlway’s former office down the hall. He also planned to celebrate with friends and family.
He then said he would get to work filling 25 vacancies of the department. This includes efforts to make the department more diverse, with a focus on increasing the number of women in the agency, he said.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Brandl said during the ceremony that the agency’s diversification in line with the growing community is just one issue that Mori will be tasked with addressing during her tenure.
“As we swear to Chief Mori, Vancouver, like many cities across the country, is in a period of change and transition in the police profession,” Brandl said. “There are challenges to achieving full staffing as a result of the generational changes that are taking place in our workforce, and our community is rapidly becoming more diverse. I am fully confident in the ability of Chief Mori to lead the next chapter of the VPD towards an even more effective and inclusive future of security and well-being for our community in Vancouver. ”
Mori said it brings with it strong relationships with a variety of community stakeholders, including with many minority-led groups. He noted his membership in the Vancouver branch of the NAACP and relations with the League of United Latin American Citizens of Southwest Washington and the Sikh community of Vancouver.
He gives priority to these types of bonds during his tenure as head, he said, to listen to people’s expectations before the crisis.
NAACP President Jasmine Tolbert said in a press release that it was announced that Mori had hired, the organization was proud of the choice of city and that Mori had demonstrated a commitment to solving complex problems in society.
Mori said he is proud of the department he holds and feels the support of the community.
“It’s a winning program,” he said. “Really, that’s my business. I have a bunch of top people from the Hall of Fame working here who are just amazing at what they do. The community here is so supportive of this organization and I never, ever want to spoil it. That doesn’t mean we don’t have opportunities. There are always areas where we can become the best, because the moment we think we have reached the top, that is when mediocrity will arise. ”
If the police department is fully staffed, Mori can implement some of his ideas, he said, and expand already established programs.
He admitted to taking office at a time when crime rates are rising across the country; he said he would work on new strategies and technologies to address some of the causes of crime in Vancouver.
He also noted the work of the department implementation of a program for clothing on the body and said that creating an efficient system would be part of the agency’s legacy during his tenure.
As the city grows every year, Mori said he always wants the department to meet the needs of the community.
He concluded the ceremony by saying, “I will make every effort, I promise.”