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Bell officials to vote on hiring interim police chief

October 8, 2011 |  7:03 pm

The city of Bell may soon have a new interim police chief.

The City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to appoint the former police chief of Santa Cruz.

Steve Belcher would step into a position that has been vacant for more than a year and would oversee a department of about 33 sworn officers, according to a city statement. He would also conduct an assessment of the Police Department and make recommendations about its staffing and structure.

Belcher retired after a 32-year career. His name was on a list of qualified candidates supplied to the city by the California Police Chiefs Assn., which waived the $1,000 fee it usually charges for the service.

The appointment of an interim police chief is part of an ongoing effort to fill key positions in the wake of a salary scandal that led to criminal charges against eight former city officials.

Last week, the city hired Debra Kurita as interim community services director. Kurita has more than 30 years of city management experience in Southern California, according to the statement.

Bell  has also hired David Hill, a retired human resource director from the city of Anaheim, to help draft new human resources and personnel management polices, the statement said; he will perform the job without pay.

The new appointments will be part of an "interim management team" that will help the city recruit permanent replacements, the statement said. The team is expected to be in place for at least six months.


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