Truckee PD: Chief Leftwich announces he will retire July 3

Truckee Police Chief Rob Leftwich has announced he will retire July 3. (Sierra Sun file photo)

The Truckee Police Department has posted on its Facebook page that its chief, Rob Leftwich, will retire effective July 3.

“Chief Rob Leftwich has announced his retirement as of July 3, 2020,” the post states. “He began with the Truckee Police Department in August of 2010 as a sergeant. He moved up through the ranks, and was promoted to Chief of Police in January 2016. He has had an extensive career, not only during his time in Truckee, but also in his twenty-plus years serving multiple California municipal police departments.

“We thank him for his service and wish him a wonderful retirement and all the best.”

Leftwich’s controversial comments in an email to Truckee staff in advance of a June 2 public vigil in Truckee, observing the death of George Floyd, drew criticism from community members and was the subject of a Monday town hall discussion.

“The Town Hall was an important step to opening dialog, receiving community input, and to weigh in on a complex issue,” said Truckee Mayor David Polivy in an email to the Sun. “We heard and read the many passionate comments of support for both Chief and his department, and this announcement should not be seen as a reaction to the Town Hall, the controversy around his email, or a reflection of the Council’s views.”

The Town of Truckee also posted the announcement, acknowledging the chief’s retirement.

“We want to acknowledge our support for Chief Leftwich and the work he has done not only during his time in Truckee, but in his over twenty years’ experience serving in municipal California police departments,” added Polivy.

The mayor pointed to a number of examples supporting the work the chief has done while in Truckee, including playing a key role in leading the town through the COVID-19 pandemic; advocating for the “Safe Place for All” resolution; and being on the board of directors for Tahoe SAFE Alliance.

“There, he was an outspoken advocate for ending violence for all,” said Polivy. “His personal stories of domestic violence, particularly in minority communities, compelled huge donations to help care for those in crisis, and to support prevention.”

Kim Szczurek , administrative services director, said Thursday a new chief will be selected by the town manager, who hires all department heads for the Town of Truckee. 

There will be a recruitment process that will involve extensive advertising and outreach and will most likely take up to about five months until someone is on board, Szczurek said, adding that Capt. Randy Billingsley will be the acting chief in the interim period.

“I am highly confident that the leaders we have at all levels in the department will steer a smooth transition and continue to serve the community as devotedly as they have,” concluded Polivy.

“The community should expect to hear from Town management in the near future regarding the recruitment process for your new Chief of Police, and welcome Captain Billingsley in the interim.”

Check back for more on this developing story.

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