A Pleasanton native and Foothill High School alum, Howell has worked for the department since being hired as a data entry clerk in 1991.
Howell became a police dispatcher six years later and has served in a variety of assignments, including tactical dispatcher and communications training officer. Her promotion to dispatch supervisor took effect on Saturday.
Kuhr joins Pleasanton police in a lateral move from the Oakland Police Department, where he worked as a police officer.
A native of Penngrove in Sonoma County, Kuhr served for five years in the U.S. Coast Guard after high school, receiving a range of honors during his tenure, including the prestigious Sailor of the Quarter award. After his honorable discharge, Kuhr attended the Oakland Police Academy. He is now pursuing a criminal justice degree from the University of Phoenix.
Raised in Roseville, Levine said he first became interested in law enforcement during his freshman year of high school after seeing how much the school resource officer cared for the school and its students.
Levine attended the Butte College Police Academy and soon after graduation joined the Marine Corps Reserves as a motor transport mechanic. He is working toward a degree in criminal justice from American River Community College.
Both new police officers will undergo a 16-week training period before patrolling the streets of Pleasanton on their own.
In other news
* A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released last week on a Southern California plane crash earlier this month that killed Tri-Valley Realtors and others aboard an aircraft that departed from Concord described the minutes before the crash but did not indicate a possible cause.
The Aug. 5 crash in Santa Ana killed Scott Shepherd, 53, and Lara Shepherd, 42, both of Diablo, Floria Hakimi, 62, of Danville, Navid Hakimi, 32, of Los Angeles, and Nasim Ghanadan, 29, of Alamo.
Floria Hakimi, Lara Shepherd and Nasim Ghanadan were all Realtors at the Danville office of Pacific Union International. Scott Shepherd was Lara's husband and the pilot of the plane, while Navid Hakimi was Floria's son. The group was headed to a real estate conference in Anaheim.
According to the NTSB report, the flight of the Cessna 414 plane departed Buchanan Field Airport in Concord at 10:22 a.m. and was headed for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
A review of audio tape at the airport in Santa Ana revealed that Scott Shepherd established contact with the airport control tower when he was west of the airport and he was told to hold over the South Coast Plaza shopping center, the report states.
Multiple witnesses near the crash site said they saw the airplane enter a left bank turn and then descend toward the ground at a steep angle.
During the descent, the pilot transmitted "emergency" three times, then crashed into several vehicles in a shopping mall parking lot and came to rest upright about 35 feet from the entrance of a store, according to the report.
The report did not state a possible cause, noting there was good weather and visibility in the area. All major components of the plane were located along the 150-foot-long debris path at the crash site.
The airplane wreckage has been taken to a secure storage facility for further examination.
* San Ramon Police Chief Dan Pratt retired Thursday after nearly two years in the position and almost three decades in law enforcement overall.
Pratt served in San Ramon for 14 of his 28 years as a law enforcement officer — time that he says has been a great privilege.
"It has been my honor to serve this great community for the past 14 years. It has truly been a privilege to serve and I am grateful for having had the opportunity," Pratt said. "The Police Department deeply appreciates the community trust and support that we enjoy and the strong cooperative partnerships (both public and private) that have been developed over the years."
Pratt initially retired as a police captain in June 2016 but returned to serve as interim co-chief when Joe Gorton was selected as interim city manager. When Gorton's interim tag came off that next January, so did Pratt's as he became full-time police chief.
Pratt is following his predecessor's mindset and has selected his own captain, Craig Stevens, to serve as his interim police chief until a permanent replacement can be selected.
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