San Clemente : Veteran Lawman to Be City’s New Police Chief

Kelson McDaniel, chief of police in Los Alamitos since 1978, has been named chief in San Clemente to replace Gary Brown, who left city service in March to take a job in private industry.

McDaniel, 48, whose 24-year career in law enforcement includes 17 years as a patrolman and lieutenant with the Newport Beach Police Department, will assume command of San Clemente’s 63-member police force on Oct. 7.

According to City Manager Jim Hendrickson, McDaniel was selected from a field of about 115 candidates, including police chiefs, captains and lieutenants from various California cities. A three-member panel chose the top three finalists. They were then interviewed by Hendrickson, who cited “maturity and experience” as the key factors in his decision to hire McDaniel for the $54,300-a-year job.

McDaniel, who made an unsuccessful bid for the job in 1977, said he is eager to relocate to San Clemente, where he plans eventually to retire.