Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Staveley Appointed Interim Police Chief - Again

In a press release this afternoon, Chief Executive Officer of the City, Tom Hatch, announced that he had appointed Steven H. Staveley as the new interim Police Chief, replacing Captain Les Gogerty, who stepped down last week to concentrate on his real job as field operations captain. The Daily Pilot story by Sarah Peters is HERE.

Some of you payi
ng attention will recall that Staveley was the interim chief in Costa Mesa before, replacing John Hensley when he abruptly retired under the pressure of the whole Benito Acosta affair. Staveley held the job for six months, from July of 2006 to January, 2007, when Chris Shawkey was appointed permanent police chief.


Once again Staveley brings a long and distinguished career in law enforcement to our city and, once again, is probably the right guy to bridge the time from Shawkey's departure until a new chief is selected. It's my understanding that he did a good job for us during that short stint and had the respect of most of the Costa Mesa police officers.


Staveley is a consultant for Jones & Mayer, the law firm that provides Costa Mesa with our City Attorney, Tom Duarte. He has performed similar assignments f
or other client cities of the law firm, as well as having been the permanent police chief for several other cities over his career.

One interesting comment made in the press release indicated that Staveley was an instructor at Golden West College. Some will recall that recently-retired police captain Ron Smith left under a cloud that included questions about him approving bogus expense reports for former chief Shawkey and that he was apparently teaching at Golden West at times when he was supposed to be working in Costa Mesa. I thought it was an interesting coincidence.

According to the press release, the s
earch of a new, permanent police chief is now in process and is expected to take from 3-5 months. It is unclear whether Gogerty will toss his hat in the ring for the job. There are many in city government, and the police department in particular, who feel he is the perfect choice at this time for our city. He's done an excellent job of directing the police department during the most difficult time in its history, with accusations of corruption swirling around and the strained relationship between the officers and members of the city council. The skills he brought to his job have been tempered by the hot fires of these controversies.

Regardless who is selected to replace Shawkey, the city cannot afford to make another mistake in this critical management position. I agree with those who say we don't need another person who is just looking to pad a pension and sleep-walk through a couple years in Costa Mesa before bailing out. What we need is someone who understands the situation in Costa Mesa, including the politics at play at this time, and will provide the steady hand at the helm and mature leadership necessary to help navigate this city through troubled waters. The person selected will inherit a fine police department, but one that has been devoid of real leadership at the top for the past half-decade. Tom Hatch cannot afford to hire the wrong guy this time around. (See Gogerty above)

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Anonymous CM Officer said...

I have worked under Staveley and can say this is a step in the right direction. I have a lot of respect for his leadership. If the department could get someone like him for the permanent position it might make it worth sticking around.

3/15/2011 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete said...

This is off your posted topic ... but it's really more important.

The Long Beach Earthquake was back in 1933. Before that, the last time the Newport-Inglewood fault line ruptured was 78 years prior.

If you do the math: 1933 + 78 = 2011 In other words, we have gone about as far as we reasonably hope for a peaceful existence, before this fault line ruptures again.

In light of these horrific images from Japan - don't you think it's time we all got serious about getting ready? I do.

Pete, Redondo Beach

3/15/2011 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Pete, Yep, it's only a matter of time before a natural disaster hits Southern California.

What's ironic is the same people that wanted to sell the fairgrounds are the same people for cutting public safety. The fairgrounds is imperative for us to use as an earthquake or tsunami shelter.

3/15/2011 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

If an earthquake damages the levies in the Delta we are facing a serious water shortage..desalting at HB would be a good backup but there might be construction noise to build it so it is over ten years in the permitting process, go figure.
Also, since the print is small, what number is Officer Dimel on the compensation chart on city website? I missed it first time through and don't want to look at all those numbers again. I think I had to get to number 367 to see compensation go below 100K, geez.

3/15/2011 11:00:00 PM  

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