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Questions linger after Upland police chief is placed on leave

Upland officials placed Police Chief Darren Goodman on paid administrative leave
Upland officials are providing no answers after placing their police chief, Darren Goodman, on paid administrative leave on Monday.
(City of Upland)

Upland officials continue to send mixed messages a day after their police chief of nearly two years was placed on leave despite some of those members singing his praises.

There are differing answers as to whether Darren Goodman, 54, is on paid leave and no response as to why he is not in the office, whether he can come back or even if an active investigation is underway.

Upland City Manager Rosemary Hoerning confirmed in an emailed statement Tuesday that Goodman “is on leave” as of Monday, but she did not specify if the absence was a paid leave.

This followed up a message Hoerning told Inland Empire journalist Alex Vasquez on Monday: “Chief Goodman has done a very fine job for the city of Upland. He’s been a very good chief for us. He continues to be our chief of police and right now he’s just on a leave of absence and we’ll see where that goes.”

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When asked for clarity Tuesday, Hoerning said: “Whenever an employee goes on leave it is a confidential, personnel matter. I cannot provide any more information.”

Hoerning added Goodman was replaced, on an interim basis, by Capt. Cliff Matthews.

“The Upland Police Department provides excellent services to our community,” Hoerning said. “I have full confidence in the acting chief and know that the Upland Police Department will continue to serve our city with the same level of services.”

Goodman spent 27 years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, beginning as a deputy in 1991 before retiring at the rank of captain.

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He was hired as Upland’s chief and sworn in on July 16, 2018.

A call to a cellphone number listed for Goodman was not returned.

Upland Councilman Bill Velto announced the move at a council meeting late Monday.

“Upland is now faced with another challenge,” said Velto, who took a five-second break before adding: “One of our biggest challenges. Our chief of police has been placed on paid administrative leave.”

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Velto added that he asked “our residents please be respectful” of Goodman, “our city manager and this council as we allow this unfortunate process to be completed.”

Velto did not respond to an email for more information, nor did Upland Mayor Debbie Stone.

But Councilwoman Janice Elliot, who also said Goodman was on paid leave, offered her backing for the chief in an emailed statement, saying he “has the strong support of his staff and of our community.”

She added: “We are so lucky to have him as our chief in these trying times.”


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