Police Chief Mike Hubbard leaves the job in 30 days, he told Patch Tuesday, and the search is on to replace a man who has spent much of his 25 years with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department serving the city of Lafayette.
"I will miss Lafayette," Hubbard said. "Nine of my 25 years was spent serving this community, that's a third of my career in this town, and obviously I have a lot invested here..."
Hubbard, 47, was a patrol officer with the Sheriff's Department -- which provides contracted police services to the city -- when he first arrived in Lafayette in 1989, staying for four years before leaving to pursue career opportunities in the department's investigative and courts divisions.
He returned as a lieutenant with the honorary title of chief five years ago, bringing with him a few nuanced investigative offerings and a commitment to the people he served.
"My goal has always been to provide the citizens with professional, competent, caring people to respond to their needs...," he said.
Hubbard admitted that policing in Lafayette carried with it a few considerations an officer patrolling other, tougher parts of the county did not have to face.
"It's a different type of work but with the same, underlying needs most cities have," he said. "And while it's true we didn't have the drug or crime of other cities, the job is still the same."
Hubbard said he was able to enhance the city's traffic enforcement efforts with the controversial mobilization of a two-officer motorcycle team he said has been deployed with effect to neighborhoods plagued by speeders and reckless driving, and broadened the responsibility of the department's non-sworn community services officer to enhance evidence gathering procedures and keep more officers on patrol.
"You're not going to make all people happy all the time," he said. "But what you try to do is make it a safer Lafayette. I think we've done that."
Hubbard, father of 8-year-old triplets and an 9-year-old, said he is looking forward to a career as a "full-time dad" to his children and "the next step" in his journey together with his wife.
He described his decision to leave as Lafayette's top lawmen as "purely financial." Leaving now, he said, will allow him to retain most of his pension in advance of coming cuts to the county retirement plan and an expected pay cut in July.
Meanwhile, with 30 days left on the clock, Hubbard said the department has "quite a few" applicants for his job and that an evaluative process is under way to pick the city's next chief of police.