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Long Beach police commish applicants sought

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) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

As he vies for the permanent position of Long Beach police commissioner, Acting Commissioner Michael Tangney has slashed overtime and redistributed staff as the city struggles with a fiscal crisis.

City Manager Jack Schnirman announced last week the city would accept applications for police commissioner until Feb. 17.

Schnirman appointed Tangney, a 34-year member of the police department, as acting commissioner last month. Tangney said he has instituted various belt-tightening methods that will save the city about $649,000 per year, primarily by cutting back on administration.

“We went from a detail-centric organization to patrol-centric,” Tangney said. “We had nine total officers assigned to detail, and moving them back to patrol will save $200,000 per year,” largely through overtime. He said the department eliminated two administrative positions to save the city $380,000 per year after factoring in pensions and benefits.

The benefit is twofold, Tangney said. In moving more officers to patrol, “We will get a greater patrol presence in and around the community.”

The influx of officers on patrol will reduce overtime, he said, adding that reassigning two investigative officers to patrol duty will save $25,000 per year.

Tangney also has been tasked with selling or auctioning riot gear the department purchased but did not use, such as battering rams and shields.

“One of the things I’ve asked the commissioner to do is to find cost savings like that, things that are superfluous materials that the city can sell or auction,” Schnirman said.

A minimum of 10 years' experience as a police officer, with five of those years in a management role at a police department, are required to apply.

Long Beach City Hall is on Park Avenue. The police station and fire department are also attached to the building. (June 21, 2011)

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