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PORT HUENEME : 17 in Running to Succeed Police Chief

Thirty-two people applied for the vacant police chief’s job in Port Hueneme, but only 17 meet the city’s basic requirements, including five years’ management experience, City Clerk Karen Jackson said.

Police Chief John R. Hopkins announced last fall he will retire in March. Hopkins, City Council members and other city officials will interview candidates soon, Jackson said.

Depending on qualifications, the new chief will make $73,000 to $83,000 a year, and is expected to be in office by May 1, Jackson said.

A key issue that will be facing the new chief is the uncertain future of the tiny Port Hueneme Police Department.

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The city recently adopted a 4% utility tax to raise the $500,000 a year to keep the department running. However, those tax revenues cannot be strictly designated for the department, and the City Council could use it for other purposes, City Manager Richard Velthoen said.

In an attempt to keep the department operating, the Port Hueneme Police Officers Assn. notified the council Wednesday that officers do not expect a raise in their new contract next month.

In the past, each new contract has awarded officers a raise that at least matches the increase in the cost of living, said Sgt. Ken Dobbe, president of the association.

But this year is different, he said.

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“People are now paying a utility tax to keep us,” Dobbe said. “So we want to do our own monetary sacrifice on this.”


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