'A direct and tangible impact on many lives': Long-time police chief Pete Kerns celebrated

Friends and colleagues celebrate long-time police chief Pete Kerns at retirement party

EUGENE, Ore. - After 34 years with the Eugene Police Department, Police Chief Pete Kerns has retired, and on Tuesday morning, he celebrated in style with a ceremony honoring his decades of policing.

The Chief's retirement ceremony was held at the First Baptist Church of Eugene, and dozens of city and law enforcement officials came together to wish him well on his retirement.

They presented the former chief with honorary plaques, and shared memories of working with Chief Kerns, and how he made their lives better.

"All of a sudden, Chief Kerns and his wife, Joan, walked into my room. I didn't realize they knew I was going to have chemotherapy that day," said Michael Klews, with the Eugene Police Employee Association. "But watching my then captain walk into my room with his wife filled me with pride and joy."

Kerns was presented with a plaque from the Lane County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, and was honored with a retirement badge and bouquet of flowers for his wife.

"It's been a long run, and I couldn't be more fortunate to have Pete as a friend after all these years," said Florence Police Chief Tom Turner. "Your career with the Eugene Police Department has had a direct and tangible impact on many lives."

Kerns is not officially retired, but instead he is transitioning from policing to the non-profit world. Kerns will join St. Vincent de Paul as their Chief of Staff in early spring.

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