Molalla Lieutenant Tapped for New Police Chief

An officer who has served Molalla for more than two decades will succeed the retiring Frank Schoenfeld as the community’s next top cop.

Lt. Chris Long will take the reins as the new chief of the Molalla Police Department starting Dec. 1, Schoenfeld reported in a farewell letter posted to the department’s Facebook page Thursday.

“He is a man of integrity, highly skilled and qualified to lead this agency,” wrote Schoenfeld, who announced his retirement last week after six years with Molalla PD — the last three of them as chief — and more than three decades in law enforcement.

“He is also known to many of you as a very dedicated Molallan who has grown up in this great community. You really could not be in better hands.”

Long has worn a number of hats in his more than 20 years with Molalla Police, but has often been one of the department’s most visible officers and officials, previously serving as PIO and leading community outreaches such as handing out $100 bills to unsuspecting families during the holiday season.

Schoenfeld’s tenure, while somewhat brief, was rather eventful, encompassing the pandemic, a rash of historic wildfires, a destructive ice storm and a deadly heat wave. Through it all, Molalla showed its true colors, the chief said.

“I have never been so impressed by the caring nature of our community as I watched people pull together to help others in need,” he wrote. “Molalla is a wonderful, growing community, and I believe the future is bright.”

A former patrol sergeant and detective sergeant for the Canby Police Department, Schoenfeld joined the Molalla force in 2016 before succeeding Rod Lucich as chief three years later. Prior to his retirement from Canby PD, Schoenfeld had also served as a supervisor assigned to the South Metro Gang Task Force.

He said he will retire in the confidence that the city and police department are on the right path and that he gave all he had to give.

“The members of the Molalla Police Department have worked very hard in recent years to become the agency that you have needed us to be, and we have accomplished a great deal,” he said. “Our officers are working hard to do the right thing for the right reasons, even when doing the right thing is hard.

“I have seen our officers perform acts of kindness and generosity you will likely never know about, but I am proud to say that they exist more often than you might think.”

Schoenfeld’s final day as chief will be Nov. 30.

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