May 1, 2012 10:57 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Paso Robles officials ready for new police chief, ask Los Gatos firm for help

Paso Robles officials told KSBY Tuesday that they're ready to find a new police chief, and have asked an executive search firm to help.

It will cost the city just under $20,000 to get the help. This, after former police chief Lisa Solomon resigned back in early April.

Solomon resigned after a former officer accused her of sexual harassment and, after a lawsuit was filed saying officers had to meet illegal ticket quotas. Police Captain Robert Burton has been filling the role.

The money for the firm would come from the city's general fund. The city council is meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 pm to see whether it should approve this. KSBY spoke to city manager, Jim App, Tuesday and he said this money will be spent wisely. The city doesn't want to make a mistake when finding a new chief, so that's why they're asking for help from William Avery & Associates.

"Yes, it costs money, but, you know, it's an investment well worth it when you're hiring a police chief," said Jim App.

William Avery & Associates, the firm that will possibly be looking for a the new police chief, has worked with the city for about 30 years now.

Jim App said the city approached the firm for help. "We're a man down, or a woman down, and we need to add somebody back," added App.

KSBY asked App why the city doesn't just hire from within the ranks. He said in years past, they were criticized for promoting from within. "You don't want to make the mistake. You don't want people who are busy doing too many other things," said App.

So they wanted to find a new approach. KSBY spoke to people who live in the area and the majority of them want the change; but say almost $20,000 for a firm that helps bring in candidates is too much money.

But, Jim said this firm is needed, especially with all the controversy that was surrounding the resignation of Lisa Solomon.

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