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South Bay Digest

P.V. Estates : Police Chief Search OKd

May 28, 1987

The City Council has voted unanimously to seek a replacement for retiring Police Chief Monte Newman from within the department.

Newman, who has been with the Police Department 26 years, announced his retirement last week, effective Sept. 1.

The vote came after 23 residents told the council that using an executive search firm to recruit a new chief from outside the community would hurt morale on the 23-member force.

The council had planned to pay a consultant $8,000 to recruit a new chief.

"Our officers have very few possibilities of advancement," resident Marian Oshita told the council. "They serve our community well. Please give some good thought to choosing a new police chief from among the existing officers."

Unlike many other bedroom communities that contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for police protection, Palos Verdes Estates has had its own police department since its incorporation in 1939. Residents told the council they are proud of the department and believe there are officers on the force qualified to assume Newman's job.

Joseph T. Barnett, a planning commissioner, drew applause when he told the council that recruiting outside the department would be the "first step to joining the county." Last year, the city's fire department was merged into the county system.

In announcing his retirement from the $53,800-a-year post, Newman, 55, said he is "not overjoyed" at the way police officers are treated by the city administration.

Police sources indicated that Newman's retirement stems from a poor relationship with City Manager Gordon Siebert and dissatisfaction with police pay, which the Palos Verdes Police Assn. says is the lowest in the South Bay.

Siebert said he does not object to finding a new chief within the department.

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