The city of Asheville announced today that retired Santa Cruz, CA Police Chief Steve Belcher will serve as interim police chief for the Asheville Police Department while the city moves forward with a national search for Chief William Anderson’s successor. Chief Anderson announced his retirement in November following more than 37 years of public service. Belcher will begin as interim chief effective January 19, 2015.
Belcher’s law enforcement career spans 40 years, and he has served in the role of Interim Chief of Police for the City of Capitola, the City of East Palo Alto, the City of Marina, The City of Soledad, and the City of Bell, all in California.
“Interim Chief Belcher brings the depth and breadth of experience needed to lead the department forward,” said City Manager Gary Jackson. “He has a proven track record of building support for immediate, positive change.”
In his role of Interim Chief, Belcher will lead the daily operations of the department while working closely with the Matrix Consulting Group, which is currently conducting an organizational assessment of the police department. Small group efforts aimed at engaging all department personnel in moving the strategic operating plan forward will continue as the national search for a new chief progresses.
“As a chief and an interim chief, my approach and philosophy is fairly simple,” Belcher said. “Treat people decently, listen to what they have to say, formulate a plan and receive buy-in, be clear on expectations and hold people accountable.”
Between Chief Anderson’s departure and the arrival of Belcher on January 19, Deputy Chief Wade Wood will serve as acting Chief.
An RFP for a professional and comprehensive selection process was released in November with the target start date for a new chief set for June 1, 2015. Information about the recruitment and selection process for Asheville Police Chief is available on the City’s website at ashevillenc.gov/projects.
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