Desert Hot Springs Police Chief Resigns for Petaluma Job
Since he became the top cop in 2007, Desert Hot Springs has seen a large reduction in crime. Chief Patrick Williams' departure is being met by sadness, but also pride by city leaders in Desert Hot Springs. Video by kmir6.comvideo
The Desert Hot Springs Chief of Police is resigning to become the police chief in the Bay area city of Petaluma.
Since he became the top cop in 2007, Desert Hot Springs has seen a large reduction in crime.
Chief Patrick Williams' departure is being met by sadness, but also pride by city leaders in Desert Hot Springs.
They say the police department is a very different place than it was five years ago.
"It was a department that was in turmoil, there were a large number of lawsuits against the city and its police officers," said Desert Hot Springs city manager, Rick Daniels.
But then Chief Patrick Williams took the oath of office in June 2007.
"Patrick's career here has been outstanding, he's golden, he's been a gift to the city," said Daniels.
So news of his resignation is sad for many.
"Heartbreak, heartbreak," said Russ Martin.
Martin, the Desert Hot Springs Public Safety Commission Chairman, says Williams work with the community has made all the difference.
"It's been night and day, we've dropped serious crime anywhere from 20, 25 percent consistently," said Martin.
Chief Williams has been recognized for his excellence on the local and state level -- from ethical courage, to a statewide award for his community policing initiative and he was elected as president of Riverside County Police Chief's Association.
"He's made it a point to hire really quality officers and every officer that he's hired since he's been here has been stellar," said Martin.
In the past three years, 15 new officers have been hired. bringing the department total to 34 sworn officers.
"A professional, qualified police force that has resulted in dramatically reduction in crime, but not only reduction in crime, but solving the crimes, and securing convictions," said Daniels.
Now the city manager will choose from that qualified pool one of the Commanders, Dan Bressler or Kate Singer.
"I will appoint an interim chief from amongst the two commanders that are already in house, and we're looking to make one of those commanders the permanent chief within six months," said Daniels.
So the city of Desert Hot Springs prepares to say goodbye to Chief Williams.
"He's one of the best chiefs of police I've ever worked with," said Martin.
"He's the best law enforcement official I've ever worked with in 35 years of public service," said Daniels.
Chief Williams' last day in the office will be August 2nd.
Williams, his wife and five children will move to Petaluma, where he takes over on August 13th.