Glendale police induct first-ever female commander, new deputy chief

Top management positions in the Glendale Police Department are changing, starting with the promotion of a longtime captain and the induction of the department’s first-ever female commander.

Carl Povilaitis, a 22-year Glendale police veteran, was promoted Wednesday from captain to deputy chief and Theresa Goldman, 49, moved up from her position as the dispatch center administrator to become the department’s commander of the Administrative Services Division.

“These are very important positions in our leadership chain of command and it’s important that we selected the right individuals to fulfill these roles,” Police Chief Ron De Pompa said.

Povilaitis, 47, who is a longtime Glendale resident, started his career in law enforcement with the Glendale Police Department, where he has spearheaded major projects including the development of command areas, predictive policing and real-time crime analysis.

As the new deputy chief, Povilaitis will continue to oversee his current duties in the investigation division as well as manage all day-to-day operations of the department.

“This is a can-do organization,” he said. “Everybody in this organization works so hard. It’s not what can’t we do or why can’t we do it, it’s how can we get it done.”

His new role will let De Pompa focus more on administrative duties, working with the legal team as well as actively interacting with the community, according to Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

“This is a very special position, at least in my eyes, because he will truly be my right-hand man,” De Pompa said. “But truth be known, Carl has kind of been my right-hand man throughout my tenure as chief.”

Stepping in to oversee organizational duties, Goldman, a non-sworn police employee, will use her experience to supervise fleet services as well as communications, the jail, records, budget and evidence rooms.

She will also represent the city on the governance board for the Interagency Communications Interoperability System, which delivers interoperable radio communication to the Los Angeles region.

“I look forward to the challenges,” Goldman said. “I am learning a great deal about the different bureaus here. I like what I see. I like the work that is being done and I look forward to bringing it to the next level.”

The idea of allowing a non-sworn employee to oversee a great amount of the department’s operations wasn’t immediately welcomed by some city officials, especially after they learned the staffer would have command over certain police functions.

The position, which is supposed to save the city $75,000 annually, is on the same tier as a captain, which means Goldman will be allowed to act as police chief in the absence of De Pompa during an emergency.

However, she would act as a policy marker, just as the police chief would, and she would not be in command at any scene during an emergency, Lorenz said, adding that tactical commanders would cover those responsibilities.

Goldman said she is confident in making decisions and consulting others when it’s needed as well as deferring to sworn officials.

“I know what they do, but I don’t do what they do,” she said.

Still, Goldman has logged more than 30 years in law enforcement, starting at the Burbank Police Department and then with Beverly Hills police, where she developed knowledge of handling dispatch duties and technology projects.

Officials said her move to the command tier may open the way for other professional staffers to move up in the department.

The latest promotions are part of De Pompa’s extensive changes, including the creation of two pools of generalist detectives, this year in the police department.

De Pompa announced his retirement in February and city officials opened an extensive search for his replacement.

He continues to work on an hourly basis until a new chief is selected. Last month, 43 candidates turned in applications or were recruited for the department’s top position.

Capt. Todd Stokes will continue to manage operations for the Field Services Division, while Capt. Mike Rock will supervise the Support Services Division, which includes internal affairs, crime analysis and the air support and traffic bureau.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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