PORTLAND — Police Cmdr. Vern Malloch, who earlier this year was an in-house candidate to be Portland’s police chief, has been named the department’s assistant chief.

Chief Michael Sauschuck said Monday that he can trust Malloch to handle the day-to-day operations of the department when the chief is unavailable.

“He’s always been somebody I can count on to tell me the truth and come forward with solutions,” said Sauschuck, who worked under Malloch’s supervision for 10 of his first 12 years in the department.

City Manager Mark Rees appointed Sauschuck as chief last month, replacing James Craig, who left in August to lead Cincinnati’s police force.

Malloch has been the department’s commander of patrol operations since May 2010. He previously held many of the department’s key positions, including leading specialty teams aimed at targeting persistent crime and building relationships with neighborhoods and the business community.

“Vern’s wealth of knowledge and policing expertise make him uniquely qualified for the position of assistant chief,” Sauschuck said in a news release announcing the promotion. “I have known and worked with Vern for more than a decade and I would be hard-pressed to name anyone who understands or cares more about this city and its people.”

Malloch, a Portland resident, has been with the department since 1984 and is seen as an ideal complement to Sauschuck, who joined the department in 1997 and is much younger than many previous chiefs.

Sauschuck said he plans to have Malloch work on several initiatives that are planned or under way, including revising the department’s standard operating procedures, overseeing the promotion process for vacancies – including the commander’s position – and helping to develop a strategy for reducing public disorder and public nuisance problems.

Malloch said Monday that he appreciates the confidence shown in him and will work to continue the improvement the department has made in recent years.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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