Finally, it’s a done deal. Under overcast skies and before a large crowd on the steps of Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters, 200 North Third Street, Police Chief Scott LaChasse was sworn in by Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by local residents, city employees, dignitaries, officials and law enforcement personnel from throughout the state.
As the MC, author James Ellroy, kept the ceremony upbeat and light with his humorous quips.
Ellroy is a successful crime fiction writer of novels like The Black Dahlia (1987) and L.A. Confidential (1990), which was turned into a highly-acclaimed film that won two 1997 Academy Awards. Ellroy was one of many friends of the chief who came out for the ceremony.
LaChasse was teased for looking like a Hollywood casting type police chief in his dark sunglasses and swigging on bottled water. But it was his experience as a tough cop, good communicator, and strong leader with a vision that took him from being hired as Interim Police Chief in 2010 to taking the oath of office as Burbank’s permanent police chief today.
Several speakers praised LaChasse for facing down the tough “challenges” in the Burbank P.D. over the past three years and getting the department back on the right track. Many of those challenges were brought on by what has become known as the Burbank Police Mess: scandal, allegations of wrongdoing, and lawsuits. The Burbank P.D. is moving on.
The Burbank City Council and City Attorney’s Office need to stop pretending nothing happened and admit mistakes were made, settle the lawsuits, and clear the names of any officers falsely caught up in the mess. Then we all can move on.