Roseburg Police Sgt. Gary Klopfenstein will become Roseburg’s new police chief after Jim Burge retires at the end of next month, it was announced Wednesday.
“It feels amazing,” Klopfenstein said Wednesday evening, “I’m just honored and grateful to be able to lead our department.”
Klopfenstein has worked for the police department for nearly two decades; he was hired in 1999.
Throughout his career, he has risen through the ranks.
He became a master officer in 2005, a corporal in 2007 and a sergeant in 2013.
Klopfenstein has been a detective on the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team, a community services sergeant and commander of the department’s emergency response team.
He received his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Western Oregon University.
When reached for comment Wednesday, Klopfenstein said he had to get off the phone because he was attending an honor roll ceremony for one of his children.
Burge became chief of the Roseburg Police Department in 2010 after serving the remainder of former sheriff Chris Brown’s term in 2008. Brown left his position as sheriff to join the Oregon State Police. Brown had previously served as the chief of the Roseburg Police Department from 1999 to 2003.
Burge began his career in law enforcement as a deputy in Wyoming after leaving the Air Force.
He was hired by the Roseburg Police Department in 1986 and became a captain the year Klopfenstein was hired.
He was appointed to undersheriff four years later.
Burge was raised in Winston and graduated from Douglas High School.
Burge’s wife Frances is currently a Douglas County Circuit Court Judge and both of their sons are serving in the military.
His father served as both a Winston police officer and a sheriff’s office deputy. His mother was a dispatcher for the Winston Police Department in the 1970s.
Burge replaced Mark Nickel who served as chief from 2003 to 2010.