Chief Gazsi Announces Four Retirements!
In a memo distributed to the Costa Mesa Police Department staff Thursday, Police Chief Tom Gazsi announced the pending retirements of four members of his command staff. This comes in the wake of the celebration of the retirement of outstanding School Resource Officer, Jess Gilman, the same day.
A TREMENDOUS LOSS FOR OUR CITY
As you can read in Gazsi's memo below, Captain Allen Huggins, Lieutenant Tim Schennum, Lieutenant Bob Ciszek and Sergeant Larry Hicks have all announced their plans to retire by the end of this year. This represents the loss to our city of more than a century of outstanding policing experience, including decades of command service, and a tremendous loss of institutional knowledge.
This is a mixed blessing. Certainly, the departure of those fine officers will be a huge loss for the Costa Mesa Police Department and for our city. It does, however, create opportunities for Chief Gazsi to promote worthy men and women from within the department. As his memo states, Huggins, Schennum and Hicks have agreed to remain for a short time after their retirement dates to help with the transition process.
DID TOXIC ATMOSPHERE INFLUENCE THEM?
I cannot help but wonder just how much the toxic atmosphere created in our city by our current city council majority affected the retirement decisions of these fine men. Certainly, members of the Righeimer-led majority have viewed the police department as an adversary and have treated them as such for the past nearly two years. It will not surprise me to see many more members of the CMPD depart if the upcoming election results in the perpetuation of the current council majority. That will, in my opinion, be cataclysmic for our city. We're already running well under the authorized staffing level - a level was capriciously chosen by arrogant council members who ignored the facts and opinions presented by their own highly qualified consultants and then-Interim Chief Steve Staveley. Those council members are more concerned about their political futures than the safety of our city and the rising crime rate demonstrates that fact - Part 1 crimes are up nearly 18% over the same period last year! It's certainly something to consider as you mark your ballots this time around.