After just five years at the Burbank Police Department, Deputy Chief Tom Angel has accepted a new appointment as Chief of Staff, Los Angeles County Sheriff. At a recognition ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, police officers, City Council members, firefighters and citizens gathered to wish him well, and remember the contributions DC Angel brought to Burbank.
“He embodies the true spirit of a public servant” noted Burbank Police Chief, Scott LaChasse. Chief LaChasse recalled that DC Angel had already retired from the LASD, however in the challenging period around 2010, he asked DC Angel to join the Burbank Police in an effort to bring both stability to the department, as well as his wealth of experience and knowledge.
Acknowledging his contributions to Burbank, and new role with the LASD, Burbank City Manager Mark Scott noted that “what you are doing is so noble.” Chief LaChasse agreed, adding that it was “a truly noble decision for (DC Angel) to come here in Burbank’s time of need.”
Following a brief proclamation by Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, DC Angel almost reluctantly stood up to say a few words. Not a person to bask in the spotlight or go long on words, DC Angel recalled his decision to join BPD. “When one cop asks another cop for help, you help.” Simple.
Asked what really stands out from his experience in Burbank, DC Angel reflected, with visible pride, that in Burbank everybody has a voice. When making large decisions impacting officers, such as the decision to acquire the new Ford Explorer SUVs, everybody, down to the line officers and IT staff, collaborated in designing and deploying the best possible tools for use by the BPD.
“The ideas for the (current) vehicle came from the line officers,” remarked DC Angel. Configuration of the (new) Explorers was developed through extensive discussions and design considerations at the line level, and built into the final product. “The vehicle was entered into the California Peace Officer Association Conference (COPSWEST). We won 1st Place in “Best Cruiser Vehicle Design!”
DC Angel also noted that the entire department contributed to rewriting and customizing the standard police policies and procedures manual, LEXIPOL, which is used as the basic framework for conducting police activities within the city. This brought together line officers with an intimate knowledge of the city, with seasoned leadership contributing many years experience in policing and law enforcement best practices.
Pressed for some personal recognition, DC Angel refused to budge, only stating the culture of Burbank police allows for innovation, nurturing creativity and ideas, and empowering all officers to be the best they can, while continuing to develop their potential.
“We need to ensure the citizens know we are on their side” said DC Angel.