Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel says five years as chief is long enough. He announced he will retire at the end of the year, "We've now hit bottom and now we're going to start hiring. And there's one thing a chief doesn't want to do when they come into an organization and that's inherit a plan from the previous chief."
The next chief will have to negotiate a new contract with the police officer's union, the Sacramento Police Officers' Association. Braziel says those negotiations are scheduled to start in January.
Braziel thinks City Manager John Shirey should hire a new chief from the department, "For a major city police department, we need to stay inside. We got some very very talented deputy chiefs and very very talented captains who could run any police department in any city in this country."
Among those on the short list of candidates: Deputy Chiefs Dana Matthes, Dan Schiele, Brian Louie, and Sam Somers.
During Braziel's five-year tenure, the police department budget was cut by $40 million but he says smarter policing helped lower crime over that same period.
As for his plans for retirement, "Short term I have five years worth of projects at home that I haven't been able to touch. Seriously, and I won't even call them honey-do's. They're my-do's that I want to get done that have sit idly by because I just don't have time."
City Manager John Shirey says he will appoint someone to lead the department between Braziel's departure and the selection of a new chief. A new chief could be hired shortly after the new year.