News

Start date delayed for new Pleasanton police chief

City manager wants to maintain consistency during coronavirus response

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.

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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.

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Start date delayed for new Pleasanton police chief

City manager wants to maintain consistency during coronavirus response

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 10:19 am
Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 1:14 pm

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.

Comments

Rich Serrano
Foothill Knolls
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:35 am
Rich Serrano , Foothill Knolls
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:35 am
20 people like this

If Fialho is so please with the current interim Chief and he is interested in maintaining consistency as he states, then they should have chosen to keep Craig Eicher in place as permanent Chief! I’ll be honest and time will tell, but not really liking the things that I have heard about the guy from Morgan Hill. It’s a real shame we can’t promote from within.


Transparency...........
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm
Transparency..........., Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm
11 people like this

Looking at the profile of recent hires, I'm guessing some of the high profile incidents that took place under the former Chief's overview, and how they were managed, have prompted a need/perceived need for some changes.

But given the usual lack of transparency on such issues from the City and PPD, we may well never really know.


Steve
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 12:05 pm
Steve, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 12:05 pm
8 people like this

Yes, but if the PPD went with a (better) internal choice, the Morgan Hill guy couldn’t spike his PERS pension at our expense.


Anonymous
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:01 pm
Anonymous , Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:01 pm
6 people like this

Transparency, aside from the hires of current police officers from other jurisdictions (called laterals), I don't think PPD has hired anyone from the outside at any other rank in a long time(aside from Swing). Actually, I think Spiller himself was the last person hired from the outside as a Lieutenant. Depending on how many internal applicants, they have looked outside for Lieutenants and Captains before.

If they were hiring other leadership roles from the outside (Corporals, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Majors, Commanders, Deputy Chief, Assistant Chiefs, etc), then maybe I can see why it may look like that. The recent hires are just recent academy graduates or laterals who have worked elsewhere. I don't think that is any indicator they are hiring due to a need for change. Change starts at the top so perhaps that could be where they are going by hiring an outside chief (instead of the Lieutenants and Captains they have internally).


Transparency...........
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm
Transparency..........., Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm
9 people like this

Yes, I don't disagree, and wasn't actually thinking about more senior rank hiring; it just struck me that most of the recent hires "reported" appeared to be more diverse, "Eagle Scout" type hires than before.

But as you note, and revolutions aside, leadership and change generally start at the top. Rightly or wrongly, I suspect Craig Eicher was seen as being a bit too "tied to the hip" of his predecessor.

Let's hope the "selection process" (whatever it actually was) works out...............


Fairlands Guy
Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:59 pm
Fairlands Guy, Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:59 pm
6 people like this

I've only been here for 20 years, but we haven't had a policing problem yet. So welcome new Chief!


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:13 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:13 pm
8 people like this

This explanation for delay of bringing new chief on aboard stinks!
What are the real facts behind this?


Anonymous
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:42 pm
Anonymous , Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2020 at 11:42 pm
6 people like this

Transparency, got it. I see what you are saying. Yes it does appear they are trying to be more diverse in their hiring. Fialho had options though, he had a second captain to choose from and probably some mid-level management positions that contained eligible candidates. The other Captain has been a rising star there and would have also made a fine chief. I'm sure you've seen the other comments on here but they aren't too positive about Swing... I wonder what the folks at Morgan Hill would have to say.


Ed
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm
Ed, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm
5 people like this

This story doesn't sound legit at all.


Andy
Jensen Tract
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Andy, Jensen Tract
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:55 pm
5 people like this

This is a logical decision and I appreciate the city’s leadership in this regard. Everyone is being required to shelter in place if possible. Why would you bring a new Chief in there in person under those circumstances and, if he can’t be in there in person, how would he possibly transition to an effective leadership position remotely? I appreciate everyone for using their heads and making these difficult but necessary decisions during this unprecedented time.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm
3 people like this

Quite the contrary:

The city is shut down, businesses are closed, residents are sheltered in their homes. The city is relatively quiet.

This is good opportunity to bring him on board, ease him into the job while meeting and learning, understanding the system that is in place and perhaps providing constructive input.


Transparency...........
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Transparency..........., Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2020 at 12:48 pm
12 people like this

Does anyone know, or can PW confirm, whether we are actually now paying for him, from his original start date of April 13 (the first and second last paragraphs of the article appear to be ambiguous on this)?

If we are paying him to not do the job he was appointed to, maybe this money would be better spent supporting our local businesses and other cases of genuine hardship?


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