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LAPD vet likely to join Burbank

City is finishing background check on captain with over 35 years' experience in L.A., including Rampart.

June 26, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago, christopher.cadelago@latimes.com

DOWNTOWN — The Burbank Police Department is expected to announce a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division to the post of police captain, sources said.

The city is completing a background check on Denis J. Cremins, who since 1973 has held a variety of patrol, investigative and administrative assignments in the Rampart Area, Internal Affairs Group, and Operations-Central Bureau at the LAPD.

City officials on Friday confirmed that they were hiring a new captain, but declined to give the name, citing personnel policies. Cremins would fill a captain's position approved by the City Council Tuesday as part of a $145-million General Fund budget.

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Sources close to the situation, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the decision, said Police Chief Scott LaChasse was eager to bring on the fellow LAPD veteran as part of his ongoing efforts to reform the troubled department.

In May, LaChasse announced the appointment of Mike Albanese, a 37-year veteran of the LAPD, as his patrol captain. That came one month after he named Tom Angel, a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, to the post of deputy chief.

LaChasse, a 32-year veteran who was among the candidates to replace Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, on Jan. 7 became chief in Burbank. His contract, which was scheduled to last six months, is expected to be extended.

The hires are part of a shake-up of the command structure amid a federal probe into excessive use of force and civil rights and discrimination lawsuits brought by current and former officers.

The department last week severed ties with three more officers, bringing to 10 the number fired since the city initiated its own probe into allegations of misconduct stemming from the 2007 Porto's Bakery robbery.

The goal moving forward is to assemble a command staff of credentialed professionals before "several of the positions open in the next two years," LaChasse said.

Along with officials from the management services division, LaChasse is in the process of putting together a captain's test for future candidates, as well as redefining requirements for the position.

"By and large I don't know that there's any [high-level commanders] here that wants to be here for another two years," he said. "What we need to do is select the right people that will be the full-time incumbents."

Det. Mike Parrinello, president of the Burbank Police Officers' Assn., did not return calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, the chief's unanimous endorsement from the City Council to recruit outside lieutenants and sergeants — after assurances that Burbank officers would maintain a competitive edge to climb ranks — is also moving ahead.

For every opening the department plans to interview three candidates from inside and three from outside. Union officials said they now embraced the competition from outside candidates.

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