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Ivens sworn in as Medford police chief

He is the city’s 32nd chief of police
City of Medford photo Medford City Recorder Winnie Shepard, left, swears in new Medford police Chief Justin Ivens Thursday during the Medford City Council meeting. The chief’s wife, Kathryn Ivens, is on the right.

The Medford City Council meeting kicked off Thursday night with the swearing-in of new Medford police Chief Justin Ivens.

“I don’t think I’ve ever received applause like that,” Ivens said about the reception given to him by the audience in the council chamber, which included family, friends and employees of the department. “Thank you.”

Ivens’ wife, Kathryn, who retired from the department after years of serving as a detective, stood by him during the ceremony. She also pinned his new chief’s badge on him before they hugged after he took his oath of office.

City Manager Brian Sjothun, after pointing out that Ivens is the city’s 32nd chief of police, said Ivens possesses empathy, integrity and a passion for the department and the community he serves that is both “inspiring” and “infectious.”

Mayor Randy Sparacino, a former Medford police chief who served immediately before outgoing chief Scott Clauson, said Ivens was one of his first promotions. He promoted Ivens to deputy chief in 2019.

Sparacino said that Ivens “did not disappoint” and that he will “make a fantastic chief.”

Sjothun announced in October that Ivens would be succeeding Clauson, who was in the position for about two-and-a-half years and with the department for 27 years.

Clauson was in the audience for Ivens’ swearing-in as well.

Sjothun and Ivens said Clauson led the department during a challenging time.

It was, Sjothun pointed out, “a time of intense scrutiny about law enforcement.”

Ivens said to Clauson: “2020 wasn’t easy.”

Both Clauson and Sparacino “challenged me” and “mentored me,” Ivens said.

Ivens started with the department in 1995 as a community service officer and moved up the ranks. Before obtaining his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Western Oregon University, Ivens graduated from South Medford High School.

Among his priorities will be staffing levels, public engagement and employee development.

Reach reporter Terri Harber at tharber@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4468.