New Pleasanton Police Chief David Swing did not start his post this week as originally scheduled, with City Manager Nelson Fialho opting to delay Swing's first day until next month because of the novel coronavirus crisis.
Longtime Pleasanton police official Craig Eicher will remain as interim police chief through at least the end of April.
"To maintain consistency in our city’s COVID-19 response and ongoing public safety efforts, I made the decision to delay Chief Swing’s arrival until May, when the shelter-in-place order may be lifted," Fialho told the Weekly.
"I am appreciative of the way the COVID-19 response is being led and want to minimize transitional complications in an already challenging set of circumstances," Fialho added. "Delaying Chief Swing's start date will allow us to better plan for a more fluid introduction and onboarding, and have the opportunity to thoughtfully plan for his family’s arrival to Pleasanton."
Swing, chief of the Morgan Hill Police Department since 2011, was appointed on March 10 as the Pleasanton Police Department's new permanent chief, with an original start date of April 13.
A firm new start date has not yet been confirmed. Swing's final day on the job in Morgan Hill was April 3.
"The start date is fluid, pending further refinement of the county’s health order due to expire on May 3," Fialho said "If we start to see a gradual releasing of restrictions, I can certainly envision his physical arrival on May 4. We’ll just have to see as we get closer to that date on whether it should be pushed out by a couple more weeks."
"In the meantime, Chief Swing has already started to participate virtually in weekly meetings with me and the Pleasanton Executive Team to discuss various issues related to our citywide organizational response to the pandemic (e.g. fiscal matters, etc.), and planning for our gradual reopening of facilities and services as more information becomes available by the county and state," Fialho added. "During this time, Acting Chief Eicher continues to lead and manage all departmental matters."
Eicher, an eight-year Pleasanton police captain, has served as the department's interim chief since Nov. 15 -- once David Spiller retired after eight-plus years at the helm.