Longtime officer to take over as Belmont's top cop

  • June 20, 2012

By Joshua Melvin

Belmont has tapped a longtime city officer to take over for retiring police chief Don Mattei.

Capt. Dan DeSmidt, a 25-year veteran and the department's second-in-command, will become the city's top cop July 1, he said Wednesday. He'll be assuming control from Mattei, who has been with the department since 1978 and spent about eight years as chief.

DeSmidt, 45, grew up in Belmont, is a graduate of Belmont's Notre Dame de Namur University and holds a master's in public administration from Cal State East Bay. He's also completed the FBI National Academy and has served as crisis negotiator with the county SWAT team. DeSmidt lives in San Carlos with his wife, daughter, 16, and son, 11.

In his decades with the department, DeSmidt worked his way up from community service officer to captain. Going forward, he said traffic safety is one of his priorities, as is increasing the department's use of technology. He's looking into iPad and iPhone applications to speed and increase communication between residents and police.

"I would like to move us toward some 21st century solutions," he said.

DeSmidt salary is $167,040 a year as a police captain and Mattei earns $183,600 per annum, officials said. DeSmidt's pay as chief was not immediately available. 


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