Finalist selected for SLO police chief job
November 6, 2015
San Luis Obispo City Manager Katie Lichtig has selected an assistant police chief in Mesa, Ariz. as the person to head the city’s police department. [Tribune]
Deanna Cantrell, 45, beat out both of San Luis Obispo’s current police captains for the position. She must still pass a background investigation before the city hires her.
Cantrell has been a member of the Mesa Police Department for 21 years. She currently serves as assistant chief of the department’s administrative services bureau.
In that position, Cantrell oversees the police department’s forensics lab, information technology, fiscal management, communications, records and supply. She has a staff of about 250 to 270, most of whom are non-sworn employees of the department.
San Luis Obispo has not had a permanent chief since Steve Gesell parted ways with the city in May following a feud with Lichtig. Since then, captains Chris Staley and Keith Storton have rotated as acting chief.
Both Staley and Storton applied for the full-time position and reached the final stage of interviews. Cantrell, Staley and Storton were the three finalists for the job.
Each of the three candidates participated in one-on-one interviews with Lichtig, Human Resources Director Monica Irons and Assistant City Manager Derek Johnson. Lichtig has final say as to appointment of city department heads.
Irons said Cantrell’s background investigation will likely conclude by Thanksgiving. The city expects to have a new chief in place by the end of the year, Irons said.