CANNON BEACH — Seaside Police Sgt. Jason Schermerhorn will become the next police chief in Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach City Manager Rich Mays said today that Schermerhorn will begin his new duties as chief in July. His salary will be $83,708.

Schermerhorn will replace Gene Halliburton, who was the last permanent chief in Cannon Beach.

Halliburton was placed on administrative leave in November for undisclosed reasons and retired in February. Ron Onchi has been Cannon Beach’s temporary chief since January.

Mays said Schermerhorn, who underwent at least four interviews, was selected from 40 applicants.

“He was overall the best candidate in terms of enthusiasm, knowledge of police procedure and leadership ability, and he was police chief material,” Mays said.

Schermerhorn’s involvement with the local community and his experience dealing with a “tourist culture” also was beneficial, Mays said.

“He is well-known, well-liked and well-respected,” Mays said. “His references were impeccable.”

Before Schermerhorn was hired, Mays said he had “extensive” conversations with Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross and Seaside City Manager Mark Winstanley.

Schermerhorn will supervise a police department that includes seven officers, four of whom are relatively new to the department, and two clerical assistants.

Onchi, who was a former Seaside police officer, will stay on the job for a while to familiarize Schermerhorn with the department’s operations, Mays said.

Schermerhorn received the Byron Award from the Seaside Chamber of Commerce last October for his volunteer efforts in the community. He developed the Citizens Academy for local residents interested in learning how a police department operates, and last year, he began an advanced academy.

For the past six years he has volunteered with the Seaside Volunteer Fire Department and serves as president of the Association of Seaside Volunteer Firefighters. He also worked to raise money for the South County Food Bank, Muscular Dystrophy Association and other local organizations.

He has been a Lunch Buddy mentor and is involved with the Seaside Heights Elementary School Backpack program that serves students in need of extra food on weekends.

A member of the Seaside Rotary for six years, Schermerhorn is president-elect of the organization for 2012. 

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