Burbank searching for permanent police chief

After 30 months with an interim head, Burbank officials announced today their intent to hire a permanent police chief. 

Scott LaChasse, a 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, took the reigns of a department in turmoil in January 2010.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. and FBI had recently begun civil rights investigations, and several lawsuits by former and current officers claimed widespread discrimination and retaliation by BPD brass.

[Updated 12:42 pm]City spokesman Drew Sugars noted LaChasse was originally hired on a six month contract. 

"Because of the situation and his skills he ended up staying two and a half years," he said. "He was making so much progress it made sense to keep him there. It has nothing to do with his skill level or performance – he’s performed admirably for the city."

Sugars said he did not know if LaChasse has expressed interest in the permanent job, or whether he planned to apply, but said he was welcome to do so.

City Manager Mike Flad, in a statement, praised the chief with accomplishing "a myriad of goals that include: assembling a top level command staff, reorganizing the department’s organizational structure, implementing an accountability system, creating external oversight, updating the use of force policy, and improving officer training." 

"Chief LaChasse exceeded our expectations, moving the department to a dramatically better position than when he arrived," Flad said. "His achievements allow us to take the time necessary to hire a qualified permanent replacement."

LaChasse, who will remain interim chief through the search process, was not immediately available for comment. 

-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

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