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Recent Personnel Investigation Involving a Former Police Department Employee

Post Date:09/14/2017 7:37 PM

Statement from Police Chief Adam McGill

Dear Community,

You may hear or read in the media about a recent personnel matter involving a former police department employee. As your police chief, I want to assure the community that NPD's command staff and I hold our employees to the highest professional and ethical standards. I was tasked by City Manager Regan Candelario to conduct a comprehensive review of the department’s culture, systems, and service levels. That review began upon my appointment on January 9, 2017. The Novato Police Department delivers an exceptionally high quality of service to our community and is doing so with limited staffing resources.

The employees of the NPD, who actually do the work on behalf of those we serve, are some of the best I have ever been associated with in my 25 years of policing. Service above self is at the very core of our values and I have the benefit of seeing it delivered every day. I’m proud of our highly talented and committed team. We strive for perfection, but our people like all other professions come from an imperfect society. Like all communities, we are sometimes impacted by poor human behavior within our own department. Fortunately, these occurrences are exceptionally rare and when they do occur, we act decisively to take the steps necessary to prevent future occurrences.

Upon internally uncovering certain shortcomings involving a single employee in some department procedures, I immediately launched a full investigation that was conducted by an outside investigative team retained by the department. 

While state law severely limits what facts a police chief may disclose when it comes to personnel matters involving individual employees, I can state that as a result of this investigation the following facts can be disclosed:

  • I notified the Marin County District Attorney’s Office of the investigation and its outcome.   
  • I ordered a comprehensive review of our oversight policies and procedures relating to these matters to ensure we catch errors and other issues. Although, our existing policies already appropriately addressed these matters, our review thus far has led to enhancements that will strengthen our oversight systems including future technology improvements that will guard against human error.
  • This matter involved a single employee and was not wide spread or pervasive.   
  • Appropriate action was undertaken related to the involved employee.   

I want to assure the public that whenever one of our employees violates our policies, he or she will be held accountable. Our values are non-negotiable and must be lived at all times.

As much as we want to be as transparent as possible in all matters, I want to reiterate that California law strictly controls the type of information that can be released in this matter.  We are not able to identify the individual employee involved in this personnel matter or any disciplinary action.    

I am proud of the great work the men and women of Novato PD do every day to protect and serve our community. While I am disappointed by this situation, I also remain impressed and proud of the outstanding work and community commitment on display by Novato police employees every day.    

Statement from Mayor Denise Athas  

 I am concerned to learn that certain conduct by one of our employees within our police department failed to meet our high standards.  I am very proud of our Police Chief and his command staff for taking immediate and decisive action after learning of this potential problem.   I personally know our police officers. They care deeply about our community. They do a great job of keeping us safe and play an important role in the quality of life we enjoy. I’m confident Chief McGill will take corrective action in this matter. I have full confidence in our police department.  

Statement from City Manager Regan Candelario  

 We have the right people with the right skills and qualities in place leading the department. I am proud of the way this issue has been handled - the training and operating procedures that have been put in place and which identified this issue, will serve to prevent future issues.     

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