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Lafayette's Hubbard Announces Retirement; Search On For New Chief

Chief Michael Hubbard has announced that he will retire as Lafayette's top lawman in 30 days.

 

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.

DanglingParticiple February 29, 2012 at 02:14 AM
A 9 year old and triplets who are 8? I'd want to work just for the break from the kids. Nevertheless, best wishes on his retirement.
Larry Pines February 29, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Retiring at age 47 for "purely financial" reasons. Per Contra Costa Times Bay Area Public Employee Compensation database, his 2010 salary, HealthCare, and pension cost taxpayers $257,082. http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area/2010 . With pension spiking, 2011 comp levels undoubtedly higher. "Leaving now, he said, will allow him to retain most of his pension." Perhaps our dogged sleuths at the Patch can find out just how rich of a pension he's sailing off into "Mr. Dad-Land" with at the ripe old age of 47. Is it any wonder that Contra Costa County (from whom Lt. Hubbard get's his very high six-figure pension and life-time health care for his large family) is awash in red ink, buried in unfunded pension liability/debt? The problem is so huge (not just for Contra Costa of course) that the unfunded liability is devouring County service budgets. Our unfunded County liability, for employee pension and retiree health care benefits, totals a staggering $2.4 billion. That's roughly equal to five years of base salary for all County workers. It works out to about $2,300 for each county resident. Even the love-every-tax Contra Costa Times now admits/publishes that much http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19889562. And his shining accomplishment to crow about after 25 years, for Lafayette citizens/taxpayers? Hiring 2 full time ticket writers on motorbikes, writing hundreds of citations a month to fund it. Goodbye Lt. Hubbard. And good riddance to you.
Kent Carson February 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Seriously? That is a sweet deal for a small town police chief...JD you should check out what his final pension is going to be, us readers want to know!
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) February 29, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Roughly 68 percent, according to the chief.
Larry Pines February 29, 2012 at 04:20 PM
68% of what, exactly? His as-yet unpublished (pension spiked) 2011 comp?
BV February 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Retiring at 47!!! Big Pension!! Wake up City Council there is something wrong here. Let's stop all these people eating at the public trough..... we can't afford it and it is just wrong.
Chris Nicholson February 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
As long as he didn't trick his Board into "Super Spiking" (a la Nowicki), then I do not fault Chief Hubbard for maximizing his benefits under the current rules. I would do the same. The fault/blame is with the people and processes that created the current situation. And even those events are water under the bridge. The only thing that matters is the future.
Sara February 29, 2012 at 04:37 PM
.... which is coming. Just like the chief said. And I don't think for a minute that any of these people crying "foul" and "eating at the public trough" wouldn't do the exact same thing if they were in his position.
BV February 29, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Maybe you would Sara ...but please don't speak for us all.
Larry Pines February 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Sure, most all of us would gladly accept a much higher level of pay and benefits than our services were worth (self interest is not a disease, it's a normal healthy response to living). But our politicians keep getting re-elected by taking huge campaign funding from the Public Unions (SEIU) and then give pay back by handing out ever-higher salary, pension, perks. Why not? It's not their money to spend. And the more "Blue" the City, County, State, the bigger the problem. And we just keep re-electing the same crooks (Moonbeam Brown the perfect example) and giving them huge raises for burying us. Sure, Sara, I'd loved to have retired 10 years ago with my four kids "all set". The problem is that with many thousands now retiring YOUNG and receiving pensions/HC over $200,000/yr, for LIFE, California is collapsing. Newport Beach has lifeguards retiring in the millions http://biggovernment.com/dspady/2011/05/06/200000-lifeguards-to-receive-millions-in-retirement/; San Diego has librarians retiring young at $220,000/yr for life. Nowicki, Hubbard, and on and on... This is the tip of an exploding iceberg of public pension debt. http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/2011/06/100000-pension-club-of-retired-california-public-employees-is-booming/ P.S. BV, Hubbard does not work for the City. Lafayette cops are employees of the bankrupt County. So make sure you vote for that third new County stormwater tax and be a good compliant taxpayer.
X February 29, 2012 at 06:04 PM
But it's so much more constructive to make comments such as "sailing off into 'Mr. Dad-Land'...at the ripe old age of 47," and to blame pension recipients for the errors and mistakes made by previous politicians and voters who foolishly elected them. Focusing on the future takes thought, determination, and a great deal of sacrifice - - character qualities in short supply.
BV February 29, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Lafayette pays for the Cops...thus it is their issue to ensure the costs are contained
Larry Pines February 29, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Sure, every city pays for police services (40-45% of City budgets; 94549 is typical). But they have absolutely no control over what the County pays it's Sheriff's Dept. staff. Surely you must know that, and not be just pedantic. Comp levels are approved at the County level and negotiated between the SEIU unions and our County BOS (Bd. of Supes, a body that has shown itself to be the very poster-children of fiscal irresponsibility and corruption). DeSalnier has moved on to the National level now, to help hasten the wreck of our nation, instead. Would you hire Federal Glover to run your company?
c5 February 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM
i figured this would devolve into a discussion about pensions, but if it gets more people to understand the disaster that is the public pension issue a bit better i am all for the discussion. in addition to his very generous lifetime pension and health benefits upon retirement, he is perfectly able to go out and get another job without any detriment to the pension he already has...imo, 47 is too young to receive pension payments regardless, and if you retire you retire, and getting another job should have an impact on the timing of your getting pension payments. lastly, i agree with others on his crowing about his crowning achievement being the moto-ticket writers we are all paying for as taxpayers...not much of a legacy if you ask me...
X March 01, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Do these motorcycle cops even exist? I don't break the law by speeding so I wouldn't know. Would be nice if they patrolled Oak Hill & Deer Hill Rd intersection and ticketed the folks who don't understand "yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk". I'd support electro-shock therapy for those drivers.
Bruce R. Peterson March 02, 2012 at 06:57 AM
I suggest Lafayette promote Officer Parrilla to Police Chief. Some liberal, pseudo environmentalist, living in an ostentatious, semi isolated house, forgot what I looked like and pretended not to be home, when I rang their doorbell many, many times. Their dogs were barking their fool heads off, in a fenced area behind the house. Officer Parrilla stopped me in the street and was laughing when her backup arrived, seconds later. What we need is a Police Chief with a good sense of humor. Can you imagine how stupid it is, to pretend your not home, when a possible burglar rings your doorbell? Here we have people commenting, who don't know which government Mark DeSaulnier is currently messing up. Others don't know diddly squat about anything but they love to comment..

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