Springfield City Manager Nancy Newton has appointed Chief Andrew Shearer to serve as Interim Springfield Police Chief, the City announced Wednesday. He will be officially sworn in on Monday, May 24.
The appointment comes after the acceptance of Chief Rick Lewis’s retirement, which is effective on June 1, 2021, the City said.
Lewis is retiring after 38 years of distinguished law enforcement service with the Springfield Police Department.
Shearer brings more than 28 years of law enforcement experience to Springfield, having served most recently as Assistant Chief of Police with the City of Portland, according to the City of Springfield.
“I am honored to get the opportunity to serve the Springfield community and the dedicated women and men of the Springfield Police Department during this time of transition,” Chief Shearer said. “As Interim Chief, I am fully committed to working alongside community members, public safety stakeholders, and SPD to enhance community trust and improve transparency; and to foster a constitutional policing culture based on dignity, empathy, fairness, respect, and accountability.”
Newton said the City is focused on selecting a new police chief who can meet Springfield’s policing needs now and into future.
“The Chief of Police is an important role in our community and it’s critical that we engage in a thoughtful process to select our next leader,” said Newton. “As we work to define the recruitment effort, Chief Shearer brings the experience and fresh perspective needed to help us as we transition.”
Chief Shearer’s employment is a temporary, limited-duration position to allow time for a robust Police Chief recruitment process, the City said.
“I want to thank Chief Lewis for his dedication to the Springfield community,” said Newton. “I also want to thank Lt. Neiwert who stepped in to serve as interim chief and has done an exemplary job.”
The Office of the Chief provides direction for the police department through planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting activities of the department.
The main goal is to provide the leadership necessary to direct the efficient and effective administration of the department in a manner that is consistent with the department’s mission, values and goals.
Primary objectives are responsiveness to community concerns, accountability, positive community relations, and positive employee relations, the City said.
Chief Andrew Shearer began his public safety career in 1992 with the Portland Police Bureau. During his tenure he worked a variety of patrol, investigative, and administrative assignments and rose through the ranks of Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, and Assistant Chief of Police, prior to his retirement in 2020.
During his early career, Shearer served as a community policing officer, neighborhood liaison officer, field training officer, instructor, investigator, and tactical team member. As a Sergeant, he led uniform patrol officers at two precincts and was later assigned to the Tactical Operations Division as team leader for the tactical unit, directing the response to high-risk incidents across the city.
As a Lieutenant, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police, serving as Executive Officer for both the Operations Branch Assistant Chief and the Community Services Branch Assistant Chief and later as the Adjutant/Chief of Staff for the Chief of Police.
As Commander of the Tactical Operations Division, he worked in close collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Violence Prevention, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other state, local, and federal partners in the effort to reduce gun violence and the long-lasting trauma it leaves behind. He improved interagency collaboration, utilization of cutting-edge technologies, and enhancement of data analysis capabilities to drive strategy. He also served as lead critical incident commander for the city.
As Assistant Chief of Police, he led the Investigations Branch, overseeing the operations of the Detective Division, Family Services Division, Narcotics and Organized Crime, Property Evidence Division, Tactical Operations Division, Forensic Evidence Division, and Transit Division.
Shearer is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from Portland State University and holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Charleston. He has received numerous commendations and awards during his service to include Distinguished Service Medals, Unit Commendation Medals (two with Valor), and the Achievement Medal.
He currently serves on the board of directors of the Portland Police Sunshine Division, an emergency food and clothing service provider, and volunteers with “Team Rubicon,” a veteran-based disaster relief agency. He has enjoyed raising awareness for and supporting the athletes of Special Olympics Oregon for many years.
Shearer promotes a leadership style that is collaborative, inclusive, authentic, and focused on partnership with community and public safety stakeholders.