Department History

The Vernonia Police Department has enjoyed a long history of successful Officers and Chiefs of Police.

Past Chiefs

Merel Graham

Acel Dallas Lolley 1938 – 1965

Ozzie Ray 1965 – 1968

Raymond Garcia 1968 – 1971

Ray Garcia The only officer to lose his life in the line of duty was Chief Raymond Garcia. Chief Raymond Garcia was shot October 1, 1971. On his way back to the station at the end of his shift, Chief Garcia stopped a car for a traffic violation. Once stopped, the 80-year-old driver of the car opened fire with a .22 caliber pistol. Although mortally wounded, Chief Garcia was able to return fire, killing the suspect. Chief Garcia succumbed to his wounds at 7:50 pm while on the way to the hospital over one hour away. The Vernonia Police Department was a three-person agency at the time of Chief Garcia’s murder. Chief Garcia, a Vietnam War veteran, had been with the Vernonia Police Department for three years. Aged 26 at the time of his death, he was survived by his wife and 5-week-old daughter.

Lee Akers Interim Chief 1971

Charles E. Turman 1972

Jack Cunningham 1972 – 1975

Lee Akers 1975 – 1976

Lester Al Upham 1976 – 1978

Gordon McLaughlin 1978 – 1982

Howard “Bud” Ashcraft 1982 – 1984

Phillip Jacobus 1984 – 1993

Jim Walters 1993 – 2003

Mike Cahill 2003 – 2004

Dale Scobert (Interim) 2004-2004

Matt Workman 2004 – 2008

Mike Kay (Interim) 2008 – 2009

Frank Grace 2009 – 2010

Michael Conner 2010 to present