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Meet the new chief of the Pismo Beach Police Department

Jeff Smith.png
Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 12:56:51-04

The seaside city of Pismo Beach has a new law enforcement leader.

Chief Jeff Smith is now at the helm of the police department that serves more than 8,400 residents and upwards of 40,000 visitors, depending on the day of the week.

He's also in charge of the department's 24 officers.

"As I grew up in Southern California, Pismo Beach was my first experience and what brought me to this area," Chief Smith said.

You may recognize him. That's because he worked for the San Luis Obispo Police Department for the past 18.5 years, in all ranks.

Most recently, he finished as the interim police chief there, and prior to that, he was with the Fontana Police Department for nearly two years.

One of the bigger tasks he's tackling right now is consolidating Pismo and Grover Beach's emergency dispatch services by July 1 of this year.

"That's a very big project, not only for the two police departments but really for our dispatch center to make sure they have the personnel in place to do that," Chief Smith said.

He says his number one goal at this time is balancing the needs of the community, businesses, and tourists.

We asked some community members what they'd like to ask the new chief.

"I just want to challenge or brainstorm on how you're going to balance the tourist parking and access to the beach with the residents' access to the beach?" asked longtime Pismo Beach resident Suzy Will.

"We are looking at current options related to the parking lots downtown. We're assessing the potential of putting in a parking structure. The challenge there is always finding the land that can accommodate a structure," Chief Smith explained.

He added that he's on the Parking Advisory Committee and the city is also looking into additional meters within the downtown core.

Meanwhile, another resident asked, "How might there be better communication with out-of-towners regarding trash left behind and drinking on the beach?"

Chief Smith responded, "We have a bike team and during the summer, we're planning on trying to ensure that we have two bike officers down there. They do go out there and patrol the beach."

With just 11 days under his belt, Chief Smith said what he's looking forward to most is being a part of Pismo Beach.

"It's a special place for me. It's a special place for my family and I enjoy serving and this is my opportunity to give back and serve this community," he concluded.

Smith says he enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids when he's not at work. He also likes woodworking, hiking, and being outdoors.