Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Nov. 13

LA commander is new police chief

After a several-months-long search and two calls for candidates, Prescott Valley has a new police chief.

PV Town Manager Tony Mortillaro announced Thursday that the Town has hired Los Angeles Police Commander Daniel Schatz to head the PV Police Dept. Schatz is expected to join the PV force in 30 days.

Schatz came out on top of 94 candidates in a second-round search for the position. Mayor Rick Killingsworth said the town chose the final four candidates who visited Prescott Valley last week partly because all have a strong commitment to community policing, a concept the town wants to continue after the retirement of former Police Chief Ed Seder last summer.

The four men, including Schatz, faced interviews last week with two panels consisting of Prescott and Peoria police chiefs, a police sergeant and officer, two community representatives, and a town department head each. The panels then recommended their choice to Mortillaro.

"Dan was the person highly recommended to me by the panels," Mortillaro said. "He was very clearly their top candidate."

"The panels did a 'plus and minus' assessment of each cabdidate, listing the pros and weaknesses of each," Mortillaro added. "I based my decision to hire Schatz on that assessment and on a general discussion about what they felt and saw in the candidates, and on my own observations."

Mortillaro said the LAPD chief hand-picked Schatz to oversee the internal investigation of the police officer "Rampart" corruption scandal.

Schatz has worked with the Los Angeles Police Dept. since 1969, beginning as an officer and working his way up through the ranks. Since 1988, he has served as Commanding Officer of the LAPD Anti-Corruption Task Force, Assistant Commanding Officer of the Operations-Headquarters Bureau, and Dept. Commander, Office of the Chief of Police.

During an interview last week, Schatz said he is committed to an open relationship with the press and the community.

"The press is the eyes and ears of the community, and they have a right to know," he said. "That should be the philosophy of every officer in the community."

Schatz also said that while he is committed to the concept of community policing, the real challenge is convincing older offices and the public.

"Community policing is not a program," he said. "It's a value driven philosophy, based on police working in partnership with the community and making the community free of crime. The community has to give the police the authority to do what it wants them to do."

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