Chief Chris Skinner became Eugene’s police chief on April 30, 2018. Previously Chief Skinner served as Richland, Washington’s, chief of police since 2011. He began his public safety career in Oregon with the Monmouth Police Department where he served as a reserve officer from 1989 to 1991, until he was hired as a full-time patrol officer for Philomath Police Department. He worked for Benton County Sheriff’s Office from 1993 to 2001, where he rose to the rank of sergeant and served throughout the county, including with Oregon State University.
During his tenure with the Hillsboro Police Department from 2001 to 2011, Chief Skinner moved up the ranks from police lieutenant, to commander, and then deputy chief. While there, he had the opportunity to work with diverse populations and initiated a Domestic Violence Response Team to better serve victims of domestic abuse in the community.
In Richland, Chief Skinner focused on growing the police department’s communication and community policing efforts while implementing data-driven initiatives to reduce crime. He served as a co-chair of the Tri-City Coalition against Trafficking and the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Taskforce against the Trafficking of Humans. Within his department, he also created an Internet Crimes against Children taskforce.
Chief Skinner is a founding co-chair of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chief’s Public Trust Committee, which uses 21st Century Policing to guide work aimed at building trust between public safety agencies and communities across Washington. In March, 2021, he received approval from Governor Kate Brown and the Senate to represent the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police on the Board of Public Safety Standards & Training. He served as OACP president in 2022. Chief Skinner earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Fox University and a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and psychology from Western Oregon University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.