Possible job change for Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner

EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner is in the running for a possible job change as a police chief on the Oregon coast.

"This is a future that I'm interested in for my family and for myself." So says Sheriff Turner, who's put his hat in the ring for the police chief's position in Florence.

Turner was appointed sheriff in 2011 and won his own term of office in the 2012 elections.

He was also the driving force behind the campaign to get a levy measure passed in Lane County last year, to provide funding for reopening some of the beds in the county jail.

With this job opportunity coming just a year after that effort, Turner told KVAL News, "I understand peoples' concerns of course, but it is nothing more than just a possibility and I am still the sheriff of Lane County and I am glad to be here for that."

Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr reacted to the development by saying, "I would personally hate to see him leave the position-- however if he does he's leaving a very strong department."

Turner says this is an intriguing chance to go back to his roots, as he started his police career over 30 years ago as a Florence deputy for the sheriff's department. He then went to work many years for the Eugene Police, before joining the Lane County Sheriff's Office in 2006.

The sheriff doesn't know when Florence officials will make a final selection for the chief's job, but he says he's among 5 finalists.

If he is appointed to the Florence post, Lane County Commissioners would appoint an interim sheriff to replace Turner.