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Chief appoints patrol captain

LAPD lieutenant is regarded as an expert on hostage situations.

April 24, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

DOWNTOWN — Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse this week announced the appointment of a veteran Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant to serve as his patrol captain, following a recently approved policy allowing outside recruits.

Capt. Mike Albanese, 60, a 37-year veteran of the LAPD, served as officer-in-charge of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit before his retirement in December 2008.

The appointment comes about a month after LaChasse named Tom Angel, a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, deputy chief. As a sheriff’s chief, Angel was responsible for the seven stations that served 15 contract cities, including Norwalk, Pico Rivera and San Dimas.

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The moves are part of a shake-up of command staff amid a federal investigation into allegations of excessive force and mounting civil rights and discrimination lawsuits brought by current and former officers.

LaChasse is in the process of reorganization and plans to mix and match duties to make the best use of personnel. Capt. Pat Lynch, a 30-year veteran who last led the patrol division, announced plans to retire, officials said.

Albanese is an expert on police tactics who “knows how to lead, command,” LaChasse said.

He brings to Burbank 26 years of Crisis Negotiation Team and SWAT experience. He’s regarded as an authority on hostage situations.

He graduated from Cal State Los Angeles with a degree in public administration and earned his master’s from USC.

Albanese is expected to help break down a front-loaded system in which the senior-most officers often schedule weekday and daytime shifts by supervising shifts on nights and weekends, LaChasse said.

The chief received a unanimous endorsement last month from the City Council to recruit outside police captains, lieutenants and sergeants, after assuring that officers from inside the department would still have a competitive edge to move up the ranks.

Albanese told the Police Commission that he looks forward to overseeing beefed-up training efforts, and that he has a “tremendous amount of passion” for the job.

Burbank Police Commission Chairman Bob Frutos, who as an LAPD officer worked under Albanese, described him as a persistent motivator when it came to training.

“I got up to speed real quick,” he said.

LaChasse, who took over the Police Department in January, last held the rank of LAPD deputy chief, commanding nearly 1,600 personnel in south Los Angeles. The recent hires help solidify a strong combination of commanders with Burbank, Los Angeles and county sheriff experience, Frutos said.


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