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The Independence Police Department is headed by Chief Vern Wells, who oversees a department of consisting of 3 sergeants, 8 full-time officers, 13 reserve and cadet officers, 2 full-time office staff, and numerous volunteers.
555 S. Main St., Independence, OR 97351
503-838-1214 (business phone)
To enhance community livability by protecting the safety, health, and welfare of all people while providing professional, efficient, and fair law enforcement that is strengthened through problem solving partnerships with the community.
Chief Wells has been serving as the Independence Police Chief for nearly twenty five years (since November of 1987). He has worked full time in law enforcement for thirty-eight years, working for both municipal and county police agencies. Prior to becoming a police officer he worked as a firefighter and medic.
Chief Wells could be considered a local boy. He graduated from Central High School and holds both a Bachelors and Master’s Degree from Oregon College of Education (now called Western Oregon University). His full time law enforcement has been with Monmouth Police, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and with the City of Independence.
Chief Wells has attended over 3,800 hours of in-service law enforcement training and is a graduate of the Rural Executive Development Institute and the Oregon Executive Development Institute. He has been an adjunct professor at Western Oregon University, a part-time instructor for the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (Oregon’s Police Academy) and the Western Community Policing Center. He trains primarily in the areas of police administration, community policing, professionalism, and ethics. He spent nine weeks in Kosovo with a team conducting Community Policing training and has also traveled to Serbia and Montenegro assisting with police administration training.
Chief Wells is a past president of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and serves on numerous committees and commissions including service as the OACP Representative on the Governor’s Government Efficiency Task Force.
Vernon Wells has a wife of 38 years, a son, a daughter, and five grandchildren.
Department photo - below.
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