Crime - Sacto 911

May 21, 2014

Lehner to stay as Elk Grove’s police chief

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner will be staying in his present position after Seattle opted to choose another person to be their top cop.

Sacto 911

Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner will be staying in his present position after Seattle opted to choose another person to be their top cop.

A Seattle search committee had listed Lehner; Mesa, Ariz., Police Chief Frank Milstead; and former Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole as finalists for the job of Seattle police chief.

This week Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he had chosen O’Toole.

The AP reported that Seattle police have been under scrutiny for years, especially since an officer shot and killed a Native American woodcarver in 2010. In late 2011, the Justice Department found officers were too quick to use force, including using their batons and flashlights, even in situations that could have been defused verbally.

The findings rankled some of the department's top brass, but several of those figures have since left, and the department has been working to change under a settlement with federal authorities, according to AP. It has adopted new policies on virtually everything officers do, including stops and detentions, using force, data collection and crisis intervention.

Lehner has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. In 2008, he was appointed to serve as the chief in Elk Grove.

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