Chief Williams Resigns Post in Desert Hot Springs
DESERT HOT SPRINGS - The top cop in Desert Hot Springs, Police Chief Patrick Williams, is leaving his post. The move was announced Thursday in a statement released by DHS City Manager, Rick Daniels.
The chief's last day in the position will be August 13. Chief Williams is leaving Desert Hot Springs to accept the Police Chief position in Petaluma, California. Daniels reluctantly accepted his resignation and initiated a recruitment process that focuses on an internal promotion to continue the high level of service and community-based policing philosophy of the Police Department.
Chief Williams has served the City for five years beginning in June 2007. He was not only Police Chief, but Assistant City Manager for all Public Safety services including: Police, Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Graffiti Abatement, and Fire Protection. Chief Williams managed the largest portion of the City's workforce and budget.
"I have never worked with a finer public servant than Patrick Williams. His tireless and imaginative work to improve the lives of the good and decent people of Desert Hot Springs was monumental and established the new baseline. He continuously provided the City Manager and Council with "Best Practices" policies and programs. His years on the San Jacinto City Council gave him great perspective on the needs of the elected officials that consider his recommendations," said Daniels.
Mayor Yvonne Parks added, "The City's history will have a chapter on the improvements to public safety under the guidance of Chief Williams that will include significant crime reduction, enhanced parolee supervision, solving cases and securing convictions in court."
"While we are momentarily saddened that Chief Williams is leaving the City, we are quick to wish him, Shirley, and his family, as well as the City of Petaluma great success and prosperity in the future. The City's most recent gains in economic development rests on the foundation of a safer community for our residents and businesses," said Daniels.
"Patrick leaves behind a great legacy of building the best Police Department with the most highly qualified officers in the Coachella Valley and perhaps in all of California as witnessed by 2010 and 2011 awards and recognitions from the Regional Community Policing Institute, California Police Chiefs Association and the California Police Officers Association for Community Policing and Ethics," said Daniels.
Russell Martin, Chairman of the Desert Hot Springs Public Safety Commission offered, "As a former police official I have the highest regard for Chief Williams. He understands the importance of establishing a positive relationship between the community and law enforcement. The result is a consistent reduction in crime and a safer community."
According to Daniel's statement, during his five year tenure with the City of Desert Hot Springs, Chief Williams achieved the following:
Formulated a modern law enforcement organization to protect and serve the City when his 10 predecessors had failed to do so in the previous decade.
Led "Operation Falling Sun," which at the time was the single largest police action in Riverside County history utilizing 700 officers from 35 different agencies, targeting 485 locations to remove over 150 gang members, drug dealers, thieves, and criminals of all kinds from the City.
Led the public effort to commit over $40M of new funding for Public Safety through voter approved ballot measures in 2009 & 2010, which passed by margins of 74% and 83%.
Expanded the Police Force by 40%, which resulted in significant reductions in crime over his 5-year tenure.
Implemented technological innovations, which leverage available manpower through a region-wide interoperable, radio system, community cameras, and enhanced crime laboratory.
Led the dramatic reductions in the felons on parole population through enhanced supervision, new regulations limiting housing options, and assisting in the establishment of a service center aimed at reducing the recidivism or likelihood of repeat offenses of those recently released.
Williams was previously recognized by his colleagues for his expertise as their elected President to the Riverside County Chiefs of Police and Sheriff Association and as their representative to the counties Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee charged with the responsibility to minimize the impacts of the state's "AB 109 Realignment Plan" that shifted supervision of parolees to local jurisdictions as a way to reduce prison populations.
The Desert Hot Springs Police Officer's Association added that they "wished Chief Patrick Williams and his family a successful transition to their new home in Petaluma. Chief Williams has been instrumental in changing the culture of the police department to a point that the POA is more involved than ever before. Chief Williams has been fair and just with not only the sworn members of the agency but the non-sworn. His leadership will be greatly missed, and the POA is committed to continuing the work Chief Williams started to make the Desert Hot Springs Police Department a model of effective, engaged and ethical public safety services in California."
When asked to comment about his pending move Chief Williams said, "Together with our residents, businesses and visitors, we have built a police agency that effectively fights crime, delivers exceptional service and has improved the quality of life in Desert Hot Springs. I am proud of our employees, the foundation of our organization, for the implementation of our award-winning Community Policing Initiative and for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis in service to this community. Though I fully embrace the new opportunities that lay ahead, my choice to leave the Desert Hot Springs Police Department was a difficult decision.
"I will miss the many friends and colleagues I respect and admire. I am indebted to them for helping me to learn and grow as a leader and as a person. Also, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to our community for their unwavering and visible support in helping make the Department and the City the best they can be. Our staff, with the support of our council and community, will continue to deliver the exceptional work that has become their trademark and help take the Department to the next level."
Petaluma is located in Sonoma County, in the North Bay Area.