Following an unsuccessful national search for a qualified replacement, the Oceanside City Council voted 4-1 on Wednesday, May 7, to keep Frank McCoy on as police chief for another two years.
McCoy officially retired last October but had agreed to fill in as interim police chief, earning an hourly wage until a successor was found. The position was advertised this spring and included a base salary of up to $194,000.
McCoy said he planned to spend the next two years working to lower crime rates in the city, to implement technology that will help officers do their jobs, and to ensure the police department’s efficiency.
“We’ve had a very good stint in reducing crime, and I think it’s important for us to continue to focus our effort on that,” McCoy said.
Councilman Jack Feller said McCoy had done “an exemplary job” as chief and rehiring him was a “solid decision.”
“The decisions made by the police chief are pretty critical to how the city’s moving forward and we are making great strides in reducing crime,” Feller said. McCoy will receive a 6.5 percent increase in his annual salary each year, which will drive his base salary up to $208,304 this year, according to a council staff report.
Deputy mayor Esther Sanchez, who cast the dissenting vote, said although she believed McCoy was responsible for lowering the city’s crime rate, the 13 percent raise was a concern; a 3 or 4 percent increase would have been more acceptable, considering rising healthcare and living costs and the city being unable to afford most employee raises.
Councilman Gary Felien said that although he shared in the frustration of taking on the added expense, he saw it as the price of staff development that would lead to an in-house hire.
City manager Steven R. Jepsen requested the two-year extension so McCoy could be involved in succession planning and staff development, in hopes that a qualified member of the Oceanside Police Department could be promoted at the end of the term.
“We are a very, very special community here, and I think it takes somebody really special to be our police chief,” Sanchez said. “I do think that there are a couple of candidates internally, and perhaps they’re not ready yet.”
McCoy, a Long Beach native and former mayor of Cypress, was appointed Oceanside’s police chief in 2006. He has also served as a Manhattan Beach police officer and a Long Beach police commander since his career in law enforcement began in 1984.