Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 29, 2010

Fraser to retire as Pleasanton police chief

30 years on the job, including last 3 years as chief

by Jeb Bing

Police Chief Michael Fraser will retire Nov. 12 as head of the Pleasanton Police Department after 30 years on the job, including the last three as chief.

Fraser is Pleasanton's fifth chief of police, appointed to the position in 2007 by City Manager Nelson Fialho and succeeding Chief Tim Neal, who retired that year. His annual salary currently is $200,000.

Fraser came up through the ranks, joining the Pleasanton police force in 1980 when it had 29 officers. Today, there are 84 officers on the force.

During the course of his career, he had a broad array of assignments including patrol officer, field training officer, detective sergeant and SWAT commander. He was also the fourth motorcycle officer in the Pleasanton Police Department's history.

Fraser introduced the E-911 service to Pleasanton in 2007. This service allows residents with cell phones to punch in 9-1-1 during an emergency and have the call go directly to the Pleasanton Police Department rather than a California Highway Patrol call center based in Vallejo. The change speeds up the local response time to an emergency by contacting Pleasanton police first during an emergency.

"Mike Fraser has been an exemplary chief of police," Fialho said. "His depth into the community cannot be understated. He really embraced community policing and played a major role in the quality of life that we enjoy in Pleasanton."

"Chief Fraser has evolved the Police Department to align with the needs of the population, and his forward thinking has led to the implementation of a new dispatch system that expedites incoming calls, and specialized training for our officers, particularly in the area of diversity," Fialho added.

When he first joined the Pleasanton police force as a patrol officer in 1980, Fraser found a Pleasanton that was in the middle of a major economic boom, largely associated with the development of Hacienda Business Park. Stoneridge Shopping Center was under construction and preparing to open in nine months with the original anchor stores of Macy's, Emporium Capwell, and JC Penney. The average family income was $30,000 and Pleasanton's population of just over 35,000 residents was experiencing rapid change.

"Pleasanton went from a small town bedroom community to a well balanced mid-sized city over the past 30-plus years that I have worked in here," Fraser said.

"There is a vast difference between the 'then' and 'now' aspect of my career," he added. "In 1980, the Police Department was housed in what is now the Museum On Main with a locker room, briefing room, report writing room and lunch room. We kept track of all calls with paper and pencil. Everything was done manually."

Fraser has a bachelor's degree from the University of San Francisco and a master's degree from Cal Poly University, Pomona. He graduated from Command College in 1996 and the FBI National Academy in 2001.

He has lived in Pleasanton for more than 27 years with his wife Diane. They have two daughters, Valerie and Stacie.

Fialho said recruitment for Fraser's successor will begin immediately with the final selection probably occurring in the March/April timeframe.

In the meantime, interim command will be provided by the department's two police captains, Eric Finn and Dave Spiller.

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