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New police chief named in Talent

A Medford police lieutenant will soon be Talent's top cop.

Lt. Curtis Whipple will start as Talent's police chief April 18, four days before current Chief Mike Moran steps down. Whipple, who has worked in law enforcement since 1989, will start the new post with an $83,000 salary in a department that employs a chief, lieutenant, corporal, records clerk, evidence custodian and five officers.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity," said Whipple, 50. "Talent has a great department right now. My desire is to just go over there and continue what Chief Moran has done."

Whipple retired from Medford police in December, then contracted to return until June 30. His contract stipulated he could take another position elsewhere if he gave the department 30 days notice, he said.

"It was something I had a desire to do to continue my law enforcement career, because I'm not done yet," Whipple said.

Moran first announced his retirement in November 2015 after 40 years in law enforcement. Moran began his career at the Talent Police Department, then worked for Medford police for 29 years before returning as Talent's police chief in 2008. He will continue to teach part-time at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Academy in Salem.

Moran said he's excited about passing the torch to Whipple.

"He's just a dynamo, just very high energy. He's got great ideas about delivering good police work," Moran said. "He's just got so many great qualities."

Though the shift will have Whipple covering a smaller city than Medford, he doesn't anticipate the day-to-day pace will slow down. His career started with a five-year stint at Rogue River police from 1989 to 1994, and he said the department was active around the clock.

"Working at that small department, it was never slow. I was busy all the time when I worked there," Whipple said.

Whipple worked for the Central Point Police Department from 1994 to 1996, then he joined Medford police. He worked patrol for much of his time in Medford, but he served as an administrative sergeant focusing on internal affairs and background investigations, and he served on the SWAT team for 12 years. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2012.

Whipple said he's looking forward to the change, even though he's leaving a great group of co-workers behind.

"That will absolutely be the biggest thing (I'm) going to miss," Whipple said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.