Umatilla Police Chief Darla Huxel Announces Retirement


At a Umatilla City Council meeting on July 5, Police Chief Darla Huxel announced her plans to retire after 27 years with the department.

Huxel’s announcement comes while the Umatilla Police Department faces litigation for its inaction in a sexual assault case of a minor in its jurisdiction.

Darla Huxel

In her statement during the public comment section of the July 5 meeting, Huxel made a comment to a “ruse” that could be alluded to the ongoing litigation with the Umatilla Police Department.

“Yeah there’s a ruse right now, I call it a ruse, but overall I’m very proud of things that I’ve done here and I will always, always stand up for Umatilla and be proud of Umatilla, where I’m from. I will always fight for Umatilla,” Huxel said at the meeting.

Rather than focus on the recent litigation, Huxel took the time to focus on her accomplishments from her tenure with the Umatilla Police Department, acknowledging achievements like updating the department’s policy manual and receiving accreditation, working to get a school resource officer, body cameras and other achievements from her time with the city.

Umatilla City Manager David Stockdale explained the process of the city’s search for Huxel’s replacement.

“First, it’s always difficult to replace a city leader position and Chief Huxel is no different, she’s worked at the city for 27 years and has been chief for most of those years,” Stockdale said.

Stockdale said the process starts with bringing in a recruiting firm, which he said will be selected by the end of July or early August.

“That firm will meet with staff and the personnel committee and look over city council goals,” he said.

Stockdale estimated the city will have the draft recruitment catalog from the firm by the end of August to early September.

“Sometime around the second week of September is when we’ll actually post for the position,” he said.

When it comes to filling the open position Huxel is leaving behind, there is potential for the job to be taken up by not only an internal candidate but one that has been outsourced.

“Very rarely have we ever done internal-only interviews. This position will definitely be one that we open up to a nine Western state regional recruitment, but it’s like to be a large recruitment net that we cast,” Stockdale said.

“Our general hiring practice at the city is anytime we have a position at the city open up, if you already work with the city and you’re interested in the position, we always interview an internal candidate.”


  1. She said in another interview, “the impact that I think we as a department have on the community” That “impact” has been less than positive. Why is it that a photographer, me, cannot go out and enjoy their hobby with out being harassed and having the Umatilla Police Department drag the FBI up to my house on the SOLE reason for photographing wildlife and wildflowers? Yet when it comes to an actual crime they sit on their collective butts and do NOTHING!

    Darla Huxel should have never been given the option of retirement, she and Wright, along with Kennedy should ALL be fired.

  2. Ruse
    1. A crafty stratagem; a subterfuge. synonym: wile.
    2. The use of artifice or trickery; also, a stratagem.

    If this is a ruse Darla Huxel, perhaps you should take it to court, and sue??? THERE IS NO RUSE IN THE TESTIMONY OF BILL WRIGHT IN COURT. I have contacted YOU PERSONALLY on several occasions about this department’s harassment, and what was YOUR response???? You dragged the FBI up to my house.

    The ONLY RUSE that exists is the ruse, that you are anything OTHER THAN an incompetent law enforcement officer who barely meets the standards of that profession.


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