Police Chief Dave Ham will stay in his role in Seaside after the offer for the police chief position he accepted in Enterprise was rescinded.
Ham shared plans to take the position in Enterprise in November.
Enterprise will restart the selection process after rescinding Ham’s offer. Ham was set to be sworn in on Monday.
“He will not be joining the Enterprise Police Department,” Enterprise City Administrator Lacey McQuead told the Wallowa County Chieftain last week. “I am not able to go into detail regarding this decision.”
The decision to rescind the offer was made after a three-part hiring process, which included an application scoring committee and interviews by a panel consisting of the City Council’s executive committee, law enforcement personnel and community leaders. The decision was finalized through a formal recommendation made to the council by the Enterprise Police Committee.
“I always knew it was a possibility it wasn’t a done deal,” Ham said. “I have zero issue with their decision. They just decided to go in a different direction to look at some other candidates.”
The vacancy arose after Enterprise Police Chief Joel Fish was elected sheriff for Wallowa County.
The city made the offer to the 25-year law enforcement veteran after discussing the matter in executive session Nov. 9. He accepted the conditional offer Nov. 13.
The move was “strictly a personal decision my wife and I have thought about, contemplated and researched for the past several years,” Ham said in November. “If this works out, it’s a good time to make that move.”
Ham, 50, was raised in Salem. He started his law enforcement career as a reserve officer in Independence and received his first paid police job in October 1995, when he joined Seaside police as a patrolman. Ham has been police chief in Seaside since 2014.
In the new year, Ham plans to lead the police department in a time of changing protocols as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With 17 full-time officers, the department is seeking to hire a community service officer and patrol officer. He plans on introducing the city’s lieutenant, sergeant and corporal promotions at a future City Council meeting.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our work here in Seaside,” Ham said.