Menlo Park police chief leaves on Thursday, city manager to pick interim replacement

Menlo Park Police Chief Dave Bertini

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

Menlo Park is set to have an interim police chief by the end of the week to replace Dave Bertini, who unexpectedly announced his resignation June 18 following a town hall meeting where residents heaped criticism on his Police Department.

City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson said the “selection” of an interim chief is in process.

Mayor Cecilia Taylor and Vice Mayor Drew Combs have met with a candidate, Combs told the Post.
Outgoing police chief Dave Bertini posted on Twitter yesterday that he will be deactivating his professional account on Thursday.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone I have met and worked with over the 33 years in Law Enforcement in SMCO! It has been a great career and now it is time to move on to the second half of my life! Thank you all again! This account will be deactivated July 30th,” Bertini tweeted yesterday afternoon.

Bertini, when he announced he was retiring, he said it was clear that the council no longer trusts him and the city needs a fresh start that doesn’t involve him.

The town hall meeting minutes before his resignation had been set up by Mayor Taylor so that people could voice their complaints about the police, but nobody from the Police Department could give the other side of the story.

Bertini, 52, became chief almost exactly two years ago after former chief Robert Jonsen left the city to work in Palo Alto.

He joined Menlo Park Police as a commander in 2011. Before 2011, he worked for Pacifica’s police department, where he started out as a police explorer.

He was hired there as a reserve officer in 1986 and a dispatcher in 1987.

In 1988, he became a full-time police officer. During his career in Pacifica, he rose through the ranks and was ultimately promoted to captain in 2008.

Some residents suggested at a council meeting on July 16 that former East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis take over as interim chief since he already knows the area and is a leader on police reform, having left his role as East Palo Alto’s top cop in 2013 to go to Washington D.C. and the director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

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