Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Catching Up With Chief Tom Gazsi

File this one under "Local Boy Makes Good".  That's really the only way you can describe the career of Thomas E. Gazsi, Chief of the Los Angeles Port Police.

As regular readers here know, Tom Gazsi - a long time resident of Costa Mesa -  had a long and illustrious career in our neighboring city , Newport Beach, before he became Police Chief of Costa Mesa.  We've written many times about the challenges he faced when he took over the department which was under siege by a couple elected leaders.

The toxic atmosphere created throughout the City staff, including the CMPD, caused seasoned officers to depart in droves - retiring earlier than anticipated or leaving to other jurisdictions where their skills and experience were welcomed.  After all, most of them had been part of the CMPD when it was recognized as one of the premiere law enforcement organizations in the county.  And, Gazsi's attempt to restore the CMPD to it's former glory was hamstrung by a hiring freeze imposed by those elected leaders for nearly a year, which put the department way, way behind the curve once given permission to recruit.  Two years ago he gave City CEO Tom Hatch a detailed plan for the resurrection of the department - a plan that was not acknowledged, much less green-lighted.

Nearly eighteen months ago Gazsi was approached about a position as Deputy Chief at the Los Angeles Port Police and, despite his affection for the men and women of the CMPD and the plans he had offered to his boss to bring the department back to the "glory days", the opportunity was just too great to pass up, so he retired from the CMPD and accepted that position - a brand new position in the Los Angeles Port Police hierarchy.

After less than six months on the job the Police Chief, Ronald Boyd, found himself with some legal complications so he stepped aside and Gazsi was appointed Acting Chief in April of 2015.  During the fall Boyd retired and Gazsi was appointed Chief of the Los Angeles Port Police in November, 2015 - less than a year after he left Costa Mesa.

To give you some perspective on the scope of Chief Gazsi's job with the Los Angeles Port Police, please click HERE to read a profile on him in the current issue of Seapower Magazine.  This certainly seems to be a perfect way to round out an exemplary career in law enforcement.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

One of the finest men we've had the pleasure to know. His gain is truly our loss. Congrats on a career you love and may you have many, many years ahead to enjoy it.

3/10/2016 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

There was one defining moment in Chief Gazsi's time in Costa Mesa that sticks out like a sore thumb to me, is that his plans for Costa Mesa fell on deaf ears. A man leaves Costa Mesa to run one of the most important jobs in the United States, and he is listened to there, because he is the damn best there is.
Jim, steve and gary should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done to Costa Mesa in every way, except the nice street work, regardless of why they did it, with the exception of Fitzpatric's street and the medians leading up to the King's Palace.
The Chief leaving was the final proof to me that Jim, Steve and Gary have and will continue to bury Public Safety until the day they leave office, which is not soon enough. When some disaster strikes that is devastating for Costa Mesa and there are not enough Public Safety people to respond, the problems will be limited to Capri Lane, Country Club Drive, Rural Place and of course 20th Street and Newport Boulevard's dive gin mill, Corruption Corner.

3/10/2016 03:08:00 PM  

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