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Chief looking to add deputy

With council’s approval to make outside hires, sheriff’s veteran will join force.

March 20, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

DOWNTOWN — Police Chief Scott LaChasse this week announced that he has brought on a veteran Los Angeles County sheriff’s chief to serve as his deputy should the City Council approve a policy allowing outside recruits.

Thomas P. Angel, a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, served as a chief under Sheriff Lee Baca before his retirement in January. Angel started reporting to LaChasse on Monday under a consulting contract that expires April 3. He was to perform the duties of captain, and may be given the assignment of deputy chief, according to the contract.

The temporary appointment to deputy chief cannot be made before Tuesday, when the City Council is slated to weigh a proposal to allow LaChasse to recruit captains, lieutenants and sergeants from outside law enforcement agencies. Under current rules, an outside candidate would not be eligible for the position.

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Despite initial opposition from officers on allowing outside candidates to apply, Det. Brent Dyrness, a representative of the Burbank Police Officers’ Assn., said members were ready to move on.

The deputy chief post is regarded as an additional job assignment for a police captain, but with a higher pay scale.

In announcing his decision Wednesday to the Burbank Police Commission, LaChasse lauded Angel’s experience, saying the move would create a healthy mix among the command staff of Burbank, Los Angeles and county sheriff veterans.

“He brings in that different side of the street,” LaChasse said. “The sheriffs have a different way of doing business.”

As a sheriff’s chief, Angel was responsible for the seven stations that served 15 contract cities, including Norwalk, Pico Rivera and San Dimas.

Angel, who told commissioners he’d prefer to remain in the background and identify internal complaints, said that for all the Burbank Police Department’s troubles, “there are very good people working in this organization.”

Still, he added: “It doesn’t mean that the organization doesn’t have all of the pieces to put things back together again.”

Police Commission Chairman Bob Frutos praised LaChasse for considering the Sheriff’s Department rather than stacking the ranks with “LAPD cronies.”

LaChasse, who took over the Police Department in January, last held the rank of LAPD deputy chief, where he commanded nearly 1,600 personnel in south Los Angeles.

Angel held several sheriff’s posts before being promoted to sergeant in West Hollywood, according to his official biography.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 1991 and held several assignments before assuming the post of captain in 1999, when he was assigned to East Los Angeles for four years.

LaChasse said that he expects to bring in more people from the outside in the coming months, and that he understood the impact that would have on Burbank officers who have come through the department.

“[We’ll] then move on and let the normal transitioning occur where people move through the ranks,” he said.


Get in touch CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at christopher.cadelago@ latimes.com.

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