With last week's resignation of outgoing California Police Chief Shane Templeton, the position's more recent track record of high turnover has some in the community questioning the city's approach.
Templeton was the most recent active police chief for California since former CPD chief Michael J. Ward's resignation on May 2, 2018 kicked off a chain of short tenures. Ward initially didn't give a reason for his resignation, but by the end of the month would be charged with felony counts of stealing and forgery after selling department firearms and weapons accessories and forging a fellow officer's time sheets, all amidst an "intimate relationship" with said officer.
Since then, the city's police chief hires have been less tumultuous but haven't lasted long. The police chief hired prior to Templeton taking on the role full-time, John Hoover, began serving in the role Aug. 6 of last year and only lasted until Jan. 30, 2019 before he resigned, citing a shortfall in the department and family matters as the reasoning behind his decision.
Templeton's rationale behind his resignation falls into a similar category as Hoover's, specifically for the latter point in his case. Templeton said Monday there wasn't much he wanted to say in regard to his resignation, besides his decision was for personal reasons.
"After some reflection, I decided it was time for me to move on," Templeton said.
Templeton took over in an interim role Feb. 1 of this year and will have lasted about nine months by the time he reaches his end date of Oct. 31. All told, that makes three full-time police chiefs in roughly two years.
California Mayor Norris Gerhart said despite the more recent high rate of turnover in the position, the city is maintaining a steady hand in its approach. Gerhart said, though there has been a quicker cycle of individuals leaving the position short-term, the chief before Ward served for around two decades before leaving the department.
Gerhart said, moving forward, the city does not plan to advertise the position until Templeton's last day Oct. 31. In the meantime, he said the city is confident the CPD has the resources necessary to cover — despite waiting three weeks to start the hiring process — with interim chief Daniel Hurt at the helm.