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Nov 15, 2010 7:29 PM by Monica Quintero

Former Santa Maria Police Chief being remembered

Friends are remembering former Santa Maria Police Chief John Sterling.

Sterling died over the weekend at the age of 60 from liver complications.

The Lompoc native was police chief from 1998 to 2003.

Those close to him say he was a great leader, passionate about working with the youth in our area as well as the Hispanic community.

Mike Cordero, Santa Maria City Council, said, "He reached out to the Hispanic community. At one point in time, he went to Colorado I believe to try to learn Spanish better so he could communicate with the Spanish community directly."

Sterling's retirement as police chief came after the city council suspended him.

He later negotiated an agreement with the city. It stated Sterling retired because of a conflict in management styles with the city manager.

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