Portland has launched its search for a new police chief.

A job posting went live Wednesday and the position will remain open until filled, though an initial review of applications is scheduled for March 20.

Portland Police Department’s station on Middle Street in the Old Port. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The police chief is one of the top jobs in city government, reporting directly to the city manager and responsible for nearly 200 employees plus an additional 36 at the regional communications and dispatch center.

Assistant Police Chief F. Heath Gorham has been serving as interim chief since November 2021 following the resignation of Chief Frank Clark, who took a job in private security.

“The Portland Police Department enjoys a history of public engagement and working openly in partnerships with the community to foster an atmosphere of cooperation and trust,” the city said in a statement.

“Candidates meeting the position criteria with a history of exceptional leadership, capable of partnering with the community to move the police department to new levels of success, are encouraged to apply.”


Asked Wednesday whether Gorham will apply for the permanent job, a spokesperson for the police department said he was out of the office on vacation.

Clark was earning a salary of $136,000 at the time of his departure, while Gorham earns $140,000.

The position is being advertised with a salary range of $135,000 to $175,000.

The police chief is among a handful of top leadership jobs currently open in Portland, including the city manager and department heads in public works, and housing and economic development. A search is also underway for a new superintendent of schools.

The search for a police chief was originally delayed by interim City Manager Danielle West, who expected the next city manager to make the appointment, but filling the city manager role was also delayed because of the work of the city’s Charter Commission.

The city decided last summer that it would move ahead with the police chief search anyway and hire a search firm, GovHR USA, to assist.

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