Costa Mesa has named as its new police chief Bryan Glass, a 24-year veteran of the Police Department who has been acting chief the past several months following the departure of former Chief Rob Sharpnack, the city said Thursday.
Glass, who begins in the permanent role immediately, has been acting chief since Sharpnack abruptly left in October.
“The department is focused on responsiveness and providing quality services to the community,” Glass said in a statement. “We are progressively addressing multiple infrastructure projects and succession planning that requires stability and consistency for success.”
Glass takes the helm during a time when the department desperately needs stability, Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement. In the past week, Costa Mesa has been embroiled in a controversy about state and federal plans to use the Fairview Developmental Center in town as a coronavirus quarantine site.
When the city first received reports that Fairview was under consideration, Glass, along with Fire Chief Dan Stefano, visited the site and spoke with people cleaning and preparing the facility for use.
“He works collaboratively and is responsive to residents. His leadership during the COVID-19 situation demonstrates he is ready,” Foley said in a statement. “What our department needs most right now is stability. Chief Glass can bring stability back.”
The Police Department also has been caught up in controversy over the nature of Sharpnack’s departure. Sharpnack has sued the city, alleging that city officials forced him out.
Glass moved up from his position as captain in charge of field operations, patrol services and the SWAT team.
“Acting Chief Glass has been a consummate professional from the first day I met him,” City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison said in a statement. “He is highly regarded within the Police Department rank and file. He will be a guiding force in the Police Department as he embodies the crucial leadership qualities we need in the city’s team, such as creativity, teamwork, responsiveness and innovation.”
Before being named captain in 2015, Glass served in a litany of roles, including lieutenant in field operations, SWAT commander, press information officer, gang unit officer, narcotics and vice detective, field training officer and property crimes detective, according to the news release.
He began his career in Costa Mesa after graduating from the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy in 1996.
“The management association is excited and knows Chief Glass will be progressive in his approach and will keep the department moving in a positive direction,” Lt. Ed Everett, president of the Costa Mesa Police Management Assn., said in a statement. “He has the support of the management staff as the department moves forward in addressing citywide issues.”
Glass also is a Marine Corps veteran with deployments to Japan and Somalia.