Spend Tuesday afternoons with Steve

COSTA MESA — The city is offering Costa Mesa residents a two-hour, weekly block of face time with interim Police Chief Steve Staveley.

Costa Mesa's temporary top cop will make himself available to meet with residents from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays in what the city is calling the "Chief's Office Hours."

Acting city spokesman Bill Lobdell made the announcement Thursday in a news release. The meet Staveley program is the latest move in a public relations campaign to improve the city's image and make its municipal government more transparent in the face of pending layoffs.

Staveley was named interim chief after interim Police Chief Les Gogerty stepped aside to return to his regular duties as captain of field operations. Gogerty took the helm late in 2010, when city officials placed Police Chief Christopher Shawkey and Capt. Ron Smith on administrative leave.

Shawkey has since resigned and Smith has retired. Shawkey had been under fire for submitting travel vouchers showing that he may have expensed mileage for personal trips to Arizona. It was Lobdell, then a Daily Pilot columnist, who questioned the content of those vouchers in a column.

"This effort should give us a chance to provide even better service to the community by getting to an understanding of their issues more quickly," Staveley said in a prepared statement. "We will, of course, forward issues we uncover to the appropriate agency or department when they arrive at our doorstep."

Residents who would like to meet the chief can come by Tuesday afternoons to Costa Mesa police headquarters, 99 Fair Drive, and check in at the front desk.

In case Staveley is out in the field, visitors are encouraged to first call (714) 754-5280.

—Imran Vittachi

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