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Bend’s new police chief takes reins: Mike Krantz talks of tear gas, protests and trust

(Adding new video, more comments from chief)

'I would hate to judge someone based on where they're from'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend's new police chief, chosen from the embattled city of Portland, was sworn in Monday, as Mike Krantz asked residents to give him a chance and not judge him by the violence that has racked that city in recent months.

Krantz makes the transition to Bend after serving with the Portland Police Bureau for 27 years, most recently holding the position of assistant police chief.

Bend's recent hire has been marred with controversy over the past month, with some local organizations and community members, including several Bend clergy, expressing their distaste with the decision over social media, in open letters and at Bend City Council meetings.

While the city engaged in a broad-ranging stakeholder involvement in the process, City Manager Eric King is the one in the end responsible for the hire, making it his fourth selection of a new police chief in the past 13 years.

Krantz impressed city councilors as well, beating out 40 applicants and five finalists for the position.

But since then, some in the community have said they believe an outside hire was not the appropriate move at this time of intense police scrutiny -- and if so, not from Portland.

NewsChannel 21 had an exclusive in-person interview with Krantz late Monday afternoon, asking about his views on police use of tear gas and conduct during protests, as well as what he hopes to accomplish in Bend.

One initial message to the citizens he serves was: Please give me a chance.

"I would hate to judge someone based on where they're from," Krantz said. "I want to know people, and not just simply make a judgement based on one very limited thing." 

Although many disagree with an outsider coming in to run the department, Krantz said he believes the city can benefit from a different lens and viewpoint.

Krantz said believes the Bend department already is a great one, but he wants to continue to earn more trust within the community and improve on the agency's consistently high approval rating of 80% or more.

Protesters have criticized the frequent use of tear gas in Portland, so we asked Krantz if he would ever engage in the use of it in Bend.

"Tear gas is something I would use as the last resort to prevent another, very dangerous level of force," Krantz said. "It's not something that would ever be used for normal activities, such as a peaceful protest."

Although he does not foresee tear gas being used by his department, he told us he would not take anything off the table, due to every law enforcement situation being unique.

Krantz also said he is open to starting the conversation with the community in order to find the safest alternatives to de-escalate violent situations.

"I think there's some misinformation out there, and maybe fears of what's being seen on TV, so I think it's important to distinguish between peaceful and violent protests," Krantz said.

Krantz said he has always viewed himself as a constitutional police executive.

"I will be a loyal public servant in ensuring that people have their ability to express their rights," Krantz said. "People deserve their freedom of speech, even if it's against me or police actions."

The new police chief said he will do his best to listen, and believes this community and state will get through this difficult, complicated time together.

Krantz said he wants to get involved within the community as soon as possible, so people can make their own judgments of his merit, but that he also understands that COVID-19 presents an uphill battle in that regard.

For now, Krantz said he is hoping to earn Bend's trust.

Bend / Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / Government-politics / Politics / Top Stories
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Comments

45 Comments

    1. Absolutely. Timid Ted handcuffed to PDX police. You are seeing the results of that mess. Hopefully or city officials are not as dumb as those in PDX. Let him do his job, and our community will be better for it. Bowing to pressure from groups like “peacekeepers” will have the opposite result.

        1. I support the removal of federal troops from portland, force isnt working for obvious reasons and its time to try something different, not just repeating yourself LOUDER and ANGRIER each time

  1. welcome to bend, dude! you’ll have an uphill battle to earn local respect. so start now. be humble, be curious, ask and listen. that will be key to your success.

    oh and get ready for the proverbial knife in your back from the source you least likely expect …. as most of us who move here experienced. it’s a “nice” small town, but has claws. so be cautious.

    wishing you the very best! but please don’t bring the PDX Antifa, progressive loving values you all had there. Bend might as well be in a different state.

    again – best of luck.

    1. “Don’t judge me by where I’m from”…..too late sucker! The lefties here have already judged you by that very fact and the rednecks are tired of outsiders. Good luck Chief.

        1. Ah Fed Up, I’m so far from a newcomer. 62 years old Oregon native but have only been in Bend for 54 year. I’m like you, tired as hell of all the liberal BS. You need to read some of my other posts. I’m a Trumper all the way! Pretty much a redneck but not to where I hate outsiders.

            1. Probably should just be bendmike but I kind of like the intrigue. I rally am so sick of these people and their fricking wokeness. The anger and venom so many have is weird.

    2. Bend, at least the east side should be in a different state.
      We will not tolerate the disgrace that is Portland here, guaranteed.
      If this Portland cop brings those values here he will last mere weeks.

    1. What? By wearing a mask Officer Krantz demonstrates that he indeed has a brain, uses it, understands simple science and isn’t going down the macho, dumb-**** path that a few others have. The tantrum-like “you can’t make me” attitude that a few dummies have adopted is pathetic and would be funny if it weren’t putting others at risk.
      I personally have a lot of respect for anyone who does the right thing especially around bullies and knuckle-draggers who are too busy acting out to understand logic and reason.
      Welcome to Bend Officer Krantz. Don’t let the turkeys bring you down !!

  2. “. . . City Manager Eric King is the one in the end responsible for the hire, making it his fourth selection of a new police chief in the past 13 years.”

    And two of them sucked.

    1. Hummel is cutting his nose off to spite his face here. It is good to express opinions and concerns during the hiring process but now that he is hired he should keep it zipped – they have to work together. Unless he is already trying to get him fired before he gets to work….

  3. It would be an interesting survey to learn how many Bend PD line officers are relieved to have an “outsider” with the exceptional qualifications and experience Chief Krantz has –

    Over those other “insiders” at BPD with their built-in multi year implicit bias against certain fellow officers or programs at the agency who didn’t make the final cut –

    That said – at least we know how the “Central Oregon Peacekeepers” feel about the new chief.

    Central Oregon Peacekeepers
    Yesterday at 3:06 PM ·
    “Mike Krantz was in command of the Portland Precinct with the worst record for use of force against Black people.

    “According to “Training Advisory Council Report: Patterns in Portland Police Bureau Force Data Summary Reports July 8, 2020” the PPB uses disproportionate force on Black people when compared to any other ethnic or racial group. And the most use of force came out of Central Precinct.
    Mike Krantz was Captain of the Patrol Division at Central Precinct at the time that this report references.”

    And in the same FB thread from “Peacekeeper” Mike Satcher, recently arrested in Prineville on multiple charges to include Harassment, Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Police Officer – Mike Satcher: We keep hearing about the intensive “vetting” process for Krantz. “What did you do, Eric King, just throw a dart at a wall? Even the most cursory investigation of this guy comes up with nothing but red flags.”

    https://ktvz.com/news/central-oregon/2020/08/09/three-arrested-in-altercation-at-prineville-black-lives-matter-rally/

    And personally I thought the mask for the interview was a nice touch.

  4. This guy is no better than pdx. Fix where you live….don’t go moving somewhere else and think you’ll make THAT place better instead because where you live is too far gone. You’re free to move and live here, but not necessarily welcome

  5. He might try patrolling the streets writing citation’s for the speeders Illegal parking on the streets in the wrong direction of flow of traffic blocking sidewalks Red light runners lack of use of turn signals excessive speed in roundabouts Just enforcing traffic rules & laws

  6. Glad I dont live in Bend. But I feel sorry for you all there. Unfortunately if it affects Bend it will probably affect Redmond. THEN I will really be worried.

  7. I don’t blame the guy for wanting to escape the madness in Portland. Leftist will continue to be angry….doesn’t matter what you give them. They have been out of line since day one when they decided to riot and break windows. Its one thing to protest peacefully, its another when you destroy property and threaten those who oppose your Marxist agenda. I would expect the law enforcement to stand up to the Constitution, not the communist manifesto. The leftist and their Media friends will continue to paint a narrative that Cops are bad and are always wrong when they deal with protesters, because lets face it, they label the mob and rioters as protesters…..clear difference between such labels.

    1. Huh i think the problem you will run into, is that america was founded by people committing violent illegal protests too, sorry to burst your bubble comrade

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