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Burbank seeks new police chief

Scott LaChasse TCN
Burbank announced Thursday it will begin searching for a permanent police chief to replace Scott LaChasse, who has held the position on an interim basis since January 2010.

LaChasse, a 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, took the reigns of the department after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and FBI began an investigation into the Burbank agency.

The outside investigations were launched after allegations of civil rights violations during a 2007 robbery at Porto’s Bakery. Several lawsuits by former and current officers had been filed and are now winding their way through the court system or the city’s arbitration process.

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," Sugars 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.

"The chief was originally hired for a six-month assignment, but it became obvious that we had hired someone with the expertise and vision to make long-lasting change that will benefit the citizens of Burbank for years to come," City Manager Michael Flad said in a statement. "Chief LaChasse did an incredible job stabilizing a department in crisis."

LaChasse is credited 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," according to the statement.

LaChasse will continue to serve as interim chief until the search is complete. He could not be immediately reached for comment.

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-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Photo: Burbank interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse. Credit: Times Community News

 
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