General Crime

* UC Berkeley Has New Police Chief Mitch Celaya He Will Succeed Victoria Harrison

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University of California at Berkeley assistant police chief Mitch Celaya has been selected to be the campus’s new chief of police, the university announced today.Nathan Brostrom, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for administration, chose Celaya at the end of a nationwide search in which he and Oakland Deputy Chief Dave Kozicki were the two finalists. Celaya, 48, who joined the UC Berkeley Police Department in 1982, will be paid $165,000 a year and will take the top job on Aug. 1.He will succeed Victoria Harrison, who is retiring.Celaya couldn’t be reached for comment today.In a statement released by the university, Celaya said, “I am honored to be chosen as the next police chief here at the Berkeley campus, as I consider the campus not simply a place where I work or a community that I serve, but a part of my extended family that I have taken an oath to protect.”Celaya said, “I look forward to continued partnership with the city and have the utmost confidence in the employees that make up the police department to achieve our goals and mission.”The university said the police chief sets direction for the police department, oversees an operating budget of $13.5 million and manages 130 employees, including 77 sworn officers.Brostrom said he thinks Celaya is well-suited for the job.Brostrom said in a statement, “I believe that Mitch Celaya, with his extensive campus experience, his collaborative style and his commitment to the highest standards in police work, is uniquely qualified to lead the department forward.”After he joined the UC Berkeley Police Department in 1982, Celaya moved up the ranks from officer to lieutenant to captain and for the last three years has served as assistant chief.According to the university, Celaya has helped manage some of the campus’s most difficult emergency situations, including anti-apartheid demonstrations and mass arrests, People’s Park demonstrations and riots, a 1992 assassination attempt on former Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien and the tree sit-in protests that ended last September.Celaya has also handled visits by dignitaries such as the Dalai Lama, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former President Bill Clinton and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.Celaya has received several distinguished service awards, including the UC system-wide Meritorious Service Award for his response to the assassination attempt on Tien.UC Berkeley spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said the selection process began in January when the job opening was posted.
She said Brostrom met with senior campus executives, including UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, before choosing Celaya for the job.Gilmore said Celaya and Kozicki were notified of Brostrom’s decision late last week and the department’s members were informed on Monday.The UC Berkeley Police Department’s jurisdiction includes the central campus as well as remote UC-owned property such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University Village in Albany and the Richmond Field Station.

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