Jim Porter was named the permanent chief of the Bend Police Department Friday after serving as the interim chief for five months.

"It's unique," Porter said of the announcement by City Manager Eric King. "I never thought to become police chief in my career."

Porter has a case with all his badges from his career in his office.

"The top right was my military police badge, the middle one on top was my Crook County Sheriff's Office badge," Porter said.

Six badges, reminding Porter of his past -- and now a seventh one.

King appointed Jim Porter in January to be the interim chief. Porter replaced Jeff Sale, who was fired by the city after concerns of morale at the department.

Now it is time for a new chapter.

"I've been very pleased with the direction that he's taken the department," King said. "Morale is very high, there's a great sense of optimism and really great communication, good teamwork in place. And just great momentum that I didn't want to interrupt."

King said Porter is very well respected at the Bend PD. Porter's enthusiasm for the job must be catching on.

"Passionate would be a low-level way of describing how I feel about law enforcement," Porter said. "It's been my calling, it's what I wanted to do since I was, quite frankly, 11 years old," said Porter.

Porter said he loved being a police officer so much, he never thought of becoming chief. Now, he said he is ready.

"Where I'd like to extend our services is into the community. Again, getting the officers out of the cars as much as possible into the community, in touch with neighborhood associations. Really making a difference," Porter said.

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