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Talent Police Chief Kammel resigns

Part-time officer leaves department without explanation after 'a situation'

TALENT ' Police Chief Elmer Kammel resigned his post Monday, but city officials would not explain the circumstances surrounding his resignation.

Kammel notified Talent Mayor Marian Telerski of his resignation on Sunday. City officials would say only that the police chief left his job voluntarily.

A situation occurred and he chose to resign, said City Councilman Brian Roberts.

The police department's second-in-command, Lt. Kevin Kriz, would not comment on the reason for Kammel's retirement. Kriz said he will serve as the acting chief until the city hires an interim chief.

City officials are hoping to hire an interim chief sometime in January, one who would serve through June, said Talent City Manager Betty Wheeler.

Kammel officially retired from the Talent Police Department in 1997 but returned as the part-time police chief in 2000. He was collecting benefits under the Public Employees Retirement System while working three days a week.

The guy's got 34 years of law enforcement, and it's probably time to move on, said C.W. Smith, a former Talent police chief.

Kammel served as a patrol officer for the Talent Police Department from 1994 to 1997. He was then asked to return to the department when Smith was hired as chief later that year. Smith and Kammel had served together at Medford Police Department before Smith was elected sheriff of Jackson County.

An 18-year veteran of Medford's police force, Kammel left the department in 1993 while facing allegations of sexual misconduct. He admitted having sex while on duty but denied a rape accusation. The district attorney concluded there was insufficient evidence to file charges. Under a settlement with the city of Medford, Kammel was allowed to resign rather than being fired.

Kammel told the in 1993 that his actions didn't interfere with his job. His firing was unfair, the result of a department run on a system of favoritism rather than merit, he said.

Calls to Kammel's home were not returned Monday night.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail .

reporter Meg Landers contributed to this story.