Finalist selected for SLO police chief job

November 6, 2015
Deanna Cantrell

Deanna Cantrell

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.

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What possible difference does it make where she lives?

$20 says she doesn’t live in SLO!!

How come there is this chatter on CCN and you don’t find chatter elsewhere … like the Tribune, KSBY, … ?

Could it be that the Tribune is holding off for the bigger story announcing Heterosexual Pride week?


Is that to offset Cantrell’s link to Pride in Mesa/Phoenix? I get it from what one can read she is gay.

Wonder why SLO can’t find someone local? I think I know why…

The challenge in looking across the country, will be that very few people will want to take a 50% pay cut to come to CA, factoring in the costs of living. Most Police chiefs have families etc.. 170k in SLO is about like 80k in places that can offer many more amenities than exist here. However SLO is more tolerant of “lifestyle choices” than most of those other places.

A Police officer is one of, if the not the, toughest job in the nation. We ask them to be batman, Freud, solider, rehab specialist, among many others. How they cope, I’ve no idea.

If half of the publicly available info about her is true, i will be very disappointed if she is selected. We don’t need a self-righteous hothead as chief.

A look into information from open sources and national databases indicates she has parlayed her gender and orientation into several promotions, despite allegations of misconduct related to arrests and court testimony.

What kind of recommendation will her current agency give her? A good one so they can be rid of her.

Poor Chris and Tim will now have to work for her until she either gets canned or they hit 50 and retire. Sorry guys…