San Luis Obispo police chief to retire

July 6, 2011

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deborah Linden announced Wednesday she plans to retire at the end of the year.

Hired in 2003, Linden worked to stop Mardi Gras celebrations in the city. Linden also led the efforts to modify the noise ordinance by adding additional fees to be a more “effective tool that has improved the quality of life for many residents in neighborhoods impacted by parties.”

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have a career that allowed me to serve the public in such a meaningful way,” said Linden. “I feel honored and humbled to have worked with some of the finest law enforcement professionals anywhere.

“I am incredibly proud of the work accomplished by employees at the Police Department every day, and I will miss them tremendously.”

A national recruitment will begin shortly in order to have the next police chief appointed by the time Chief Linden retires in late December.

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OK so here is my problem with this. Unfortunately, the police chief before Linden is still alive and in his 60’s and is getting around 200K a year in retirement. When he dies his spouse will probably get some percentage of his retirement until she dies and Jan Marx will feel sorry for her and try to bump that up. Linden is 49 and will retire with 200K a year and will unfortunately live for another 40 years. So we are now paying 400-500 thousand a year for a police chief for a town of 50 thousand people. But wait, now we need a new police chief and we will go outside and get one for say 300K a year. So we will be paying around 700,000 dollars a year for a police chief for a town of 50,000 people, mostly law abiding (except for the city officials). This condition is not limited to the police chief. With the welfare system the civil servants have created for themselves at the federal state and local level the taxpayer are paying at least 2.5 times the salary listed for any given position. Do the math. Start work when you are 25 work 30 years and retire at 55 at 90% of your salary plus medical and plan on living another 30 years. So for every position in the state there is the current employee and a retiree collecting the same amount of money and benefits. The extra .5 % is for all the administrative costs and the additional overlap of positions for people who go out on “disability” and other boondoogles and the double dipping.

So why didn’t you do the math when you were 25? We are well into the game to cry foul now. If the Enrons and Countrywides and principled presidents of this world hadn’t blown up the world economy you might be sitting in a million dollar house with a million dollar 401k. Guess what? You backed the wrong horse.

Great point SLOMIKE! I love how everyone is crying about what they don’t have. Well, guess what, you all had your chance to look for a job that either paid a lot, or had great benifits. You did not want the crappy Police job, or you were not cut out for it, so BOO-HOO! Plus SANSIMEON is wrong like almost everyone on this site when it comes to Police and pensions. The CITY of SLO no longer pays into PERS when someone retires. The retiree starts to draw from what was put into PERS during their 30 year career. That plus PERS investments and other PERS members contributions pays for those who retire. Don’t foget that point either: 30 YEARS! That is half a lifetime of steady work, steady contributions, an investment to live the last 20-30 years financial sound. Is that not everyone’s goal? Spilt milk??

I’d say sour grapes, too. They bought into W’s “Ownership Society” and he sold us all down the river. They thought they would all become rich because “they knew how to invest their money better than the government did”. It is not over yet. It probably won’t be in our lifetime. Meanwhile, we’ll steal our children’s education as well as their future and then stick them with the bill we ran up but are too cheap to pay.

Actually, the City of SLO won’t be paying a dime for either of the retired chiefs. That money was paid to PERS over the course of their careers. The city and EMPLOYEE sent PERS roughly 24% of the employees annual income (in advance) to cover their eventual retirement expenses. Their retirement payment comes out of savings from these contributions held by PERS. Similar to when people receive SSI, or private pensions…the contributing organization has no ties to the pension once the person retires…

About retiring at age 49…

Retirement policy depends on the employer. Working for a CalPers employer is accumulative. In other words, if she worked for another CalPers employer before working for SLO City, then those years would be counted in her retirement.

I am not current on military retirement, but it used to be that at 20 years of service, you could retire.

In addition, it used to be that if you work for the post office, after 20 years, you can retire.

This has been stated many times before, but we have to remember that most employees of California government organizations get paid less than in the private sector, but the trade-off is getting the good benefits.

To change the benefits after someone has been employed is like a bait-and-switch scam.

I think she wants to be long gone when the really big lawsuits hit.

I think any government worker who is eligible to retire and doesn’t is crazy. With the antipathy to anyone not in the private sector stirred up by this and other sites, it won’t be long before those retirements are seriously cut. With this new hatred of government workers in general, cutting of salaries by upping pension costs to employees and furloughing without pay, and a heavier workload due to attrition… it is time to leave. Luckily we’re all armed and volunteerism will pull us through.

I wish you were right about the last thing but I doubt anyone will volunteer for anything, most folks are too selfish and even though they gripe about the ‘gummint workers’ they complain more when services are cut. The populace is largely out of its mind, and our rulers are worse. Not a good state.

How many could hope to retire in the private sector after such a short time invested… the city really needs to look at this… but they won’t.

Retiring at 49. I’m hoping her actual retirement date will be after she’s actually turned 50. That will make me feel so much better.

Where next for Ms. Linden? Investigator for the DA’s office, Public Defender maybe? Only another 7 or 8 years and she can have a second retirement.

I don’t mean to rag on her personally, I think she’s done a reasonable job in a difficult hard to please community. I just think the entire system stinks as do many others.

We can’t do much but we can put salary negotiations back with our city council, where it belongs.

@NorCoMod…the impetus for Chief Linden retiring at 50 must only be related to the good ol’ “3% at 50” formula that the City has for LE (unless her employment contract says something different). Since her salary is around $234K and she served around 8 years, then she will be entitled to around $56K (24% of her current salary) per year for life (which I am sure will be adjusted for cost of living). Not too shabby for 8 years of employment. Must be nice to live off the Government tit! The funny part is that if you ask her how she feels about that, she will surely tell you how deserving she is of it.

I, on the other hand, am funding my own retirement fund. I am building a very nice nest egg and by the time I am ready to retire I will be able to draw as much as Ms. Linden per year. The only difference is that Ms. Linden will retire 30 years earlier. So sad…for me

I think your calculations for her retirement are a bit off. If she has the 3%@50 that 3% goes back all the way when she worked for the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Dept. Its her total time in the PERs retirement system. So you would take her total years worked times 3% that % is what she will receive from her last full year as the chiefs salary. I can assure you its not 56k she wouldnt be retiring.

Simplelife: You are absolutely correct about the years of service. She worked 22 years for the County of Santa Barbara and 9 years for SLO for a total of 31 years. $160,000 x 93% of her salary equals alot more than $56k… SLOcorruption hater could work the rest of his life and still not have enough to match that salary. Everyone needs to get real about all of this. It is not the salary, it is not whether she did or did not do a good job (although for $160,000 she should) the issue for government workers is the private sector pays your salary, your health care, your vacation, holiday, sick, administrative time off, your care expense (for management), and many other benefits and yet as private citizens we cannot afford all this and then sit back and watch you retire as the private sector has to continue working until 66 plus year to get a portion of what you get at 50 or 55. This pension schedule must be changes to correspond with the Social Security Retirement age. One is good for one sector of our society should be good for the other half of the working sector.


I hope you will be smarter than I was.

I would like to share this with you if you have an IRA or 401K.

11 years ago I retired with a PERS pension and had both a 401 and 405 build up which was to supplement my pension till I draw Social Security..

The first thing I wanted to do was to clear all my debt, about $15K (from my 405K), with my salary (partial), my wife’s salary, and my pension, I drew $25K which was also to include a family vacation .

At the end of the year I got hit with a tremendous Tax amount from the IRS, which required me to draw another $20K (from my 405K) to include medical costs.

I do have lifetime (supposedly) medical (Bluecross) from PERS (they deduct the payments from my pension) but if you know how Bluecross works (Preventive is free after $20 co-pay, you pay for your own discount meds, however in a serious medical matter which I have you pay 80% up to $3500 each year plus other costs out of your own pocket which I have been paying every year to the present).

Because of all this, I had to draw another $15K (405K) to pay my taxes, sending up my next year taxes.

I just recently filed for Social Security and have been advised that it is taxable just like my PERS pension is.

Both my 401 and 405k did’t last more than 4 years, and Uncle Sam got a big bit of it back.

A former co-worker told me he never contributed into any 401k or IRA, he instead did regular savings because he felt that if you pay the taxes now it all comes out the same in the end (there is some truth to that if your not careful).

Whatever your method, be smarter than I was.

Salary caps and retirement plans need to go to the voters not the city council. The council is corrupt. Look at Jan Marx and what she tried to do for the fire chief who died after working 4 years. She wanted his widow to get an additional 60K a year on top of the 200K she was receiving from his previous welfare job. Salary caps and retirement plans need to go to the voters, we are the ones paying. Now unless we are very lucky Linden will live for another 35 years and we are paying 200K a year for that.