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Long Beach cop getting top job

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue.

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue. The police station and fire department are attached to the building. (June 21, 2011) Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

After 34 years with the Long Beach Police Department in a wide variety of roles, Michael Tangney was set to be sworn in this morning to the one job he hasn’t held: police commissioner.

“Being a born-and-raised Long Beach resident, it’s such a great honor to be charged with protecting the city,” he said Thursday.

Tangney was named acting police commissioner by City Manager Jack Schnirman in January and was the unanimous choice for the permanent position, said city spokesman Gordon Tepper. Thirteen applicants were reviewed by a search committee that included Councilman Scott Mandel and former City Manager Glenn Spiritis.

As acting commissioner, Tangney slashed costs by restructuring the police department to be patrol-oriented instead of detail-oriented, meaning more officers on the street and less overtime.

In the last two months, Tangney said he’s seen “diminished sick time and increased productivity.”

In his first month as acting commissioner, Tangney said moving violations were up 101 percent compared to the same time in 2011.

And, he said, in the first four pay periods of 2012, overtime dropped 577 hours compared to last year.

Tangney said plans include sensitivity training and a drug recognition course for officers.

“I don’t know that every police officer aspires to one day be commissioner, but it’s nice to come all the way through the ranks, and I enjoyed each of my stops along the way,” said Tangney, who started as an officer.

Tepper couldn’t confirm Tangney’s new salary, but said it would be slightly less than what former acting police commissioner Thomas Sofield Sr. was paid. According to a 2011 salary document, Sofield was paid $148,596 before overtime.

Above: Long Beach City Hall



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