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Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse stepping down

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Police Chief Scott LaChasse photo courtesy City of Burbank

Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse, stepping down after 11 1/2 years on the job. LaChasse is retiring next month. The announcement appeared in a news release from the City of Burbank put out on Thursday, May 27. The police chief’s departure has been floating around in the rumor mill for some time, but now it’s official.

Law Enforcement and Security Career

LaChasse began his career in law enforcement at the LAPD in March of 1970. He retired as Deputy Chief after 32 years. LaChasse worked in private sector security for several years. In January of 2010, he joined the Burbank Police force as interim police chief. Initially, LaChasse was brought in to straighten out a department in turmoil before handing it over to new leadership. However, it didn’t quite work out that way.

The search for a new permanent police chief kicked off in July of 2012, but it was short lived. LaChasse lobbied hard for the position behind the scenes. Two months later, the search was called off. Not long after that, LaChasse was named permanent police chief. He was officially sworn by then Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, in a big ceremony at the Burbank Police station June 4, 2013.

Achievements with BPD

The news release cites some of LaChassse’s notable achievements like the creation and deployment of the Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET). Also, Chief LaChasse is credited with bringing into the department both in-car and body-worn camera systems. The impact turned out to be significant. “Personnel complaints dropped precipitously, ” as a result of both systems being instituted, according to the news release.

LaChasse Faced Controversies

Still, LaChasse’s tenure has not been without controversy. In 2010, Chief LaChasse established a strict policy of not releasing mug shots. It happened after a discrepancy involving the booking photos of two suspects. In one case, the BPD refused to release the mug shot of Burbank grade school teacher, Amy Victoria Beck. She took a plea deal and later served time in state prison for having sex with a male student.

A few months after the Beck matter, BPD did release the photo of a man arrested for allegedly touching a girl inappropriately on a bus. The BPD was called out on this blog for the discrepancy. The reaction was the establishment of the no mug shots released policy by the BPD. Recently, the rigid policy has been relaxed in some cases.

Also in 2018, Burbank Police Commissioner, Attorney David Diamond, called for LaChasse’s resignation . Diamond accused LaChasse of disparaging his 18-year legal career and for belittling the contributions of the Burbank Police Commission. The allegations surfaced after Diamond and Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, Troy Davis, campaigned for the same seat on the Los Angeles Superior Court during the June 2018 Primary. The Los Angeles Times endorsed Diamond, but Davis won the election.

LaChasse’s last day on the job will be July 6, 2021. Read the news release here.

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