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Burbank begins search for a new permanent police chief

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The search is on for a new permanent police chief in the city of Burbank. The announcement was made this morning in a press release, in which Interim Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, received generous praise from City Manager, Mike Flad: “… Chief LaChasse did an incredible job stabilizing a department in crisis.”

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G --Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G- Burbank Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse at a Burbank police commission meeting January 2010

Scott LaChasse came aboard as interim police chief back in January of 2010. Indeed, the BPD was in crisis facing lawsuits from current and former members of the force, low morale, and internal turmoil. A 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, LaChasse replaced Police Chief Tim Stehr who took an early retirement as a result of what has become known as ” the police mess” by the locals. Not an easy job for someone coming in from the outside. LaChasse has had challenges and difficulties navigating through the department politics and determining who are the “real” bad apples. He has made some mistakes and missteps. For that he has been criticized here and elsewhere.

In my opinion, LaChasse lost some of his direction and fire in the belly when he began lobbying for the police chief job permanently. In the news release, LaChasse was given credit for the following accomplishments: “… assembling a top level command staff, reorganizing the department’s organizational structure, implementing an accountability system, creating external oversight, updating the use of force policy, and improving officer training.”

LaChasse will remain on the job until a permanent police chief is named.

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