SEASIDE — Police Lt. Dave Ham will become Seaside’s new police chief when Chief Bob Gross retires Oct. 31.
City Manager Mark Winstanley selected Ham to fill Gross’ position.
“The city of Seaside commends Lt. Ham for his dedication, ability and achievements as he has worked hard to be promoted through the ranks of the Seaside Police Department,” Winstanley wrote in a news release. “We look forward to his promotion to Seaside police chief in October.”
Ham started as a patrol officer with the Seaside Police Department in 1995. Before that, he worked part time as a reserve officer at Independence Police Department. He also served in the U.S. Navy for four years and worked for Armored Transport as a courier.
Ham was a narcotics detective on the Clatsop County Drug Task Force from 2000 to 2001. He was promoted to sergeant of the Seaside Police Department in 2001 and lieutenant in 2003 under former Police Chief Ken Almberg.
Ham served as acting chief for about eight months after Almerg left and before Gross joined the department in 2005.
“I’m excited about the position, and over the years of being in the position I am, it seemed like a natural fit to move on to that role,” Ham said.
Over the years, Gross has trained and mentored Ham, “sort of setting the table” for his impending retirement, which was not a secret, Ham added.
“My long-term goal was to leave the department in the hands of someone here locally as opposed to having someone come in from the outside,” Gross said. “Dave has fulfilled that role,”
Ham already has “considerable experience with community based policing,” and he has been involved with Seaside’s National Night Out, the Child Safety Fair and the local backpack food program, according to the news release. He also is the president of the Kiwanis Club of Seaside, which he joined six years ago.
Ham has worked hard on developing his leadership skills within the department, as well, Gross said.
“I think he’s more than ready to assume the duties of police chief of Seaside,” he added.
Ham lives in Clatsop County with his wife, Cheryl. He has two children, Joshua, 20, and Derek, 15. When he is not working, Ham enjoys traveling, sports and outdoor recreational activities. He is a member of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and the FBI National Academy Association and serves on the board for Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare.