By RAELYNN RICARTE
News staff writer
May 7, 2005
The City of Hood River has hired a new police chief from Redmond who believes strongly in volunteerism.
In fact, Bruce Ludwig, 54, is currently the state officials chair for Oregon Swimming, a governing body for competitive rules. He also chairs the board of directors of Central Oregon Parks and Recreation District, teaches computer classes through a community education program, and spent 10 years as a high school soccer referee.
“He’s very community oriented and that is one of the strengths that really attracted us to him. Mr. Ludwig has a really good presence and I think he’s going to give us the type of leadership that we need in the department,” said Bob Francis, city manager.
Ludwig was the top choice from a field of 25 candidates for the job that pays a $70,000 annual salary. He will take over on June 1 from interim chief Matt Fine, who agreed to come out of retirement in Bend and temporarily oversee police operations after Kevin Lynch stepped aside in December.
Ludwig is currently the administrative captain for the 38 officers in the Redmond Police Department. He and his wife, Patti, have lived in that city for the past 23 years and raised three children. Ludwig said relocating to Hood River will not only be a great career move — but an opportunity to enjoy spectacular scenic vistas.
“It has been a long-term career goal of mine to be a chief of police and I felt the timing was right. On top of that, Hood River just seems like such a nice place to live,” said Ludwig, who holds a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Oregon State University.
Francis said another reason for Ludwig’s selection was his experience in gaining state accreditation of the Redmond department. Having official policies and procedures in place not only increases the professionalism of officers, said Francis, it lowers the city’s insurance rates by reducing the potential for liability. Former Hood River chief Tony Dirks started that process several years ago and Ludwig is looking forward to utilizing his experience to finish that work.
He describes his management style as “participatory” and believes that all decisions should incorporate feedback from involved staffers and stakeholders.
“I tend to listen to others’ input before I express my own so that I can get an unbiased opinion about how things ought to be,” said Ludwig.