With the exit of Fire Chief Robert Talloni last year and the upcoming retirement of Police Chief Nino Amirfar, this seems like a good opportunity for the Turlock City Council (with the advice of City Manager Toby Wells) to create and appoint a Commissioner of Public Safety (COPS) to oversee both the police and fire departments. The position should be held by a civilian with, not necessarily the experience, but the knowledge of public security, as a means of promoting community-oriented policing and fire safety. The deputy chiefs of their respective departments would serve as the top-ranked, trained officers, while the civilian commissioner would be the chief executive and head administrator. Turlock will save thousands of dollars a year by hiring one individual to lead both departments. The entire city stands to benefit from this.
Several cities across America, including Cleveland, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Mechanicville, NY; and Bay City, MI, have experimented with this practice and have seen positive results. It is now time for Turlock to pave the way for the rest of California and promote community involvement in public safety by appointing a COPS.
— Alex Paul Kiehl, Turlock