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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : Council Votes to Hire City's 1st Police Chief

September 09, 1993|LEN HALL

For the first time since the days of the local constable, the city will get its own police chief.

The City Council voted 5 to 0 Tuesday to pay the Orange County Sheriff's Department $116,704 a year for a lieutenant to serve as the chief of police. Unlike the past four years, when the city shared an officer with Dana Point, the lieutenant's duties will be dedicated strictly to the city.

Council members agreed with City Manager George Scarborough, who said that the services of a lieutenant were "critical" to the city. The Dana Point City Council has already voted to hire its own lieutenant from the Sheriff's Department, forcing the council here to consider a similar move.

"There is no expenditure we could make in this city that we could derive greater value than police protection for our citizens," Councilwoman Collene Campbell said.

Although the lieutenant will be named by Sheriff Brad Gates, who still lives in the city, the council agreed to send a letter to the Sheriff's Department asking that the services of Lt. Dan Martini be retained. Martini has been working as the chief lieutenant in both Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano since 1989.

Before 1956, the community's voters elected a constable every four years to act as police chief, according to city historian Pamela Hallan-Gibson. Her grandfather, Carl Stroschein, was the city's last constable, serving from 1936-56, Hallan-Gibson said.

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