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GOALS SET BY TOP COP FOOTHILL STATION GETS NEW CAPTAIN.

Byline: Orith Goldberg Staff Writer

PACOIMA - On his first day Wednesday as head of the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Division, Capt. Michael Chambers said he will build ties with the community and his officers.

With nearly 30 years' experience on the job and the command of another LAPD division under his belt, the 6-foot-4-inch captain appeared comfortable and enthusiastic about his new assignment.

``I think the mission of any police captain has to be public confidence and public satisfaction - and to make the community free of crime and as safe as possible through programs and taking care of your employees,'' Chamber said.

Chambers follows in the footsteps of Capt. Ken Garner, who was credited with raising morale and public confidence in the division during the 18 months he served there. Garner has been transferred to the city's Transit Bus Division.

``One big advantage I have is the job Capt. Garner did,'' said Chambers, a father of three and prospective grandfather.

San Fernando Valley Deputy Chief Ron Bergmann said he looks forward to working with Chambers, who had a great relationship with the community when he was commander of the Southwest Division.

``I was pleased to get him,'' the deputy chief said.

Bergmann said what he would like Chambers to look at in Foothill - which last year had the biggest increase in crime in the Valley - are some ways to build bridges between the community and the Police Department. One opportunity could be the clergy-police council, which meets monthly to discuss police procedures and crisis response. A second is the school-police council that invites students of all grades, administrators and staff to discuss problems faced on school campuses.

Foothill Division's new captain has hit the ground running, having already begun a variety of getting-acquainted meetings with division officials and get-to-know-you chats with officers at roll calls. Chambers said he looks forward to building ties with both the officers and the community.

``It's about getting involved with the division,'' Chambers said.

The transfer, effective last Sunday, was a result of about 40 promotions within the department that shuffled members of the command staff.

Chambers said his reception has been very warm.

``I felt really welcome,`` he said. ``The people are really nice.''

The new commander, who is 51, transferred from the Management Services Division, the administrative arm of the department. He had spent a year at that helm, after two years as commanding officer of the Southwest Division.

Chambers said he has a lot of ideas brewing for the future.

``Your goal is to reduce crime; hopefully we'll be successful,'' he said.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Police Capt. Michael Chambers looks for a place in his new office to hang his poster on LAPD Management Principles.

Tom Mendoza/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 24, 2002
Words:459
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