UC Davis top cop will re-apply for post

UC Davis police Chief Matt Carmichael will bid to keep his job as head of the university’s police force.

“I am going to apply for the job without a doubt,” Carmichael said Tuesday.

UC Davis hired recruiting firm Bob Murray & Associates several weeks ago to launch a nationwide search for a new chief of police to lead the 235-member department. University officials say they hope to wrap recruiting in the spring.

University officials on Monday said they expected Carmichael to reapply for the position. Carmichael remains on the job and earns an annual salary is $154,500, but the job posting indicates a salary range of $94,080 to $169,344 a year.

Carmichael, a longtime campus police lieutenant, was appointed interim chief in the days and weeks following the department’s controversial pepper-spraying of seated students protesting proposed tuition hikes in November 2011.

Carmichael was sworn in as chief in April 2012 with a promise to rebuild trust between the embattled department and the campus community in the wake of the botched and internationally ridiculed police response to the Occupy-style protests. University leaders at the time considered Carmichael’s term a temporary one and said they planned to conduct a national search toward the end of his tenure.

On Tuesday, Carmichael said he was “humbled by the fact they wanted me to do this,” calling work in the last two years “a true community effort to build relationships” between the department and larger campus.

On the national search for a new police chief, Carmichael said he “respects the process. It absolutely needs to happen.”

In the months following the pepper-spray incident, former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso issued a report highly critical of department procedure and practice; then-police Chief Annette Spicuzza retired under fire; John Pike, the police lieutenant who sprayed students at close range, was fired; and UC Davis paid a $1 million settlement to the 21 students involved in the incident.