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Ivens named as Medford police chief

Justin Ivens will be sworn in Dec. 2
Jamie Lusch / Mail TribuneMedford announces Justin Ivens as its new police chief Wednesday.
Justin Ivens

Medford Police Department Deputy Chief Justin Ivens will be the next leader of the department.

City Manager Brian Sjothun announced Wednesday afternoon that Ivens was his choice to succeed Chief Scott Clauson, who is leaving in December after about two-and-a-half years in the position.

“I am confident that Chief Ivens is the right leader for Medford,” Sjothun said. “Ivens has developed lasting relationships in our community and holds vast institutional knowledge of the department, which will be valuable for its continued success.”

Clauson has known Ivens since they began working together for the department in the 1990s. He said Ivens possesses a “contagious energy” as a leader and is known for excellence in policing.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with this selection,” Clauson said.

Medford Mayor Randy Sparacino, a former Medford police chief who served immediately before Clauson, expressed his pleasure about the decision to promote Ivens to chief of police.

“You’ve reached the pinnacle,” Sparacino said to Ivens. “You’re going to be an excellent police chief.”

Both Ivens and Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold, who oversees the Support Bureau, applied for the position — a process that included interviews with Sjothun, his deputy city managers and city department directors.

Both men were considered strong candidates for chief. Sparacino said this demonstrated that the department has been doing something right for there to be two viable candidates to lead the department.

“I come to this position humbly,” said Ivens. He thanked his family for their support and acknowledged the efforts and commitment of the 146 employees of the Medford Police Department who come to work every day and “make this community safer.”

Ivens said he intends to lead by collaborating not only with employees of the police department but also city government managers and community members.

The idea is “to build upon established successes and identify innovative strategies to strengthen the department and our officers,” he said.

Ivens began his career with the department as a community service officer in 1995 and worked his way up through the ranks, including a significant portion of his time spent as an investigator, and was named as deputy chief of the department’s Operations Bureau in 2019.

Before obtaining his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Western Oregon University, Ivens graduated from South Medford High School.

He will be sworn in during the Dec. 2 Medford City Council meeting, Sjothun added.

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