By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
At first glance, the blank walls in the office of John Teague make sense.
After all, Teague took over as police chief with the Keizer Police Department on Sept. 23. A formal swearing in ceremony took place during Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting.
But a year from now the walls could easily still be bare.
It’s visual symbolism of Teague, who served in the KPD for nearly 20 years before leaving in 2009 to become police chief in Dallas. He returned to Keizer to replace the retired Marc Adams.
“I’ve never been a wall guy,” Teague said. “I had nothing on my walls in Dallas and I never did here before.”
In a wide-ranging interview Monday with the Keizertimes, it quickly became evident Teague is comfortable with himself and not afraid to look at things a different way.
“I am exceptionally transparent,” Teague said. “I don’t gossip. I politely let people know what I think of them. I don’t want to lose sleep at night, plus I may not think of them correctly. I don’t beat people up. I treat them like men and I expect them to act like men. I call it experienced maturity. I expect them to act that way.
“I went to a (Keizer Police) Association meeting last week,” Teague added. “I told them I expect them to treat the public exactly like I treat them. It holds me accountable and it also gives them a good example of what to bear in mind when dealing with the public. Treat people fairly and justly. We need to serve people. These guys expect me to serve them and they should. We need to serve the people out there and they should.”
Teague won’t mind if others at the KPD don’t agree with some of his views.
“I hope I don’t appear to know everything,” he said. “Like I told the KPA, I expect them to confront me when my ideas don’t make sense. I also expect them to have ideas and be able to defend them… I want people to be able to talk with me and confront me. I don’t begin to think I have a corner on the market for ideas.”
Teague, 52, lives on a farm near Monmouth with his wife of nearly 25 years, Brenda. The couple has five children, evenly spaced between the ages of 13 and 21.
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