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Ex-LAPD deputy chief named Burbank's interim chief

Scott LaChasse, 61, a respected 30-year veteran, will take over for departing Chief Tim Stehr when he leaves the troubled department Dec. 31.

December 18, 2009|By Andrew Blankstein

Former LAPD Deputy Chief Scott LaChasse on Thursday was named interim chief of the Burbank Police Department, taking the helm of an agency buffeted by multiple investigations and civil lawsuits.

LaChasse, 61, a respected and experienced officer who served in the Los Angeles Police Department from 1972 to 2002, will take over for departing Chief Tim Stehr, who will have served about two years when he leaves the department Dec. 31. During his LAPD tenure, LaChasse oversaw 1,600 officers in the South Bureau. That compares to 160-plus officers in Burbank.

"I look forward to creating an open dialogue with all members of the department, the community and city family," LaChasse said in a statement. "The department is transitioning from a difficult period and there are still tough days ahead, but I believe the Burbank Police Department will emerge stronger and well- prepared for the future."

LaChasse will serve as interim chief through mid-2010, when a permanent chief is expected to be named.

A former LAPD colleague, Deputy Chief Mike Downing, had high praise for LaChasse, and noted his balanced approach to policing. He singled out his work as incident commander of the 1997 North Hollywood bank shootout.

"Scott has the proven ability to deal with the complexity of change -- even in a moment's notice -- and also manage during chaotic and uncertain periods," Downing said.

Stehr announced his retirement in November, a month after the FBI revealed that it was investigating a dozen current and former Burbank officers.

A week earlier, Steher was bitterly criticized by the family of a Burbank police sergeant who had taken his own life.

andrew.blankstein @latimes.com

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