By Elisabeth Nardi
WALNUT CREEK -- City Manager Ken Nordhoff has named longtime Capt. Steve Skinner to become acting police chief upon Joel Bryden's retirement in two weeks.
Skinner's chief job is effective May 24. Skinner, a 25-year Walnut Creek police veteran, will serve until a new chief is in place. Interviews for the position took place in March and April after panel interviews, and a preferred candidate has been identified, Nordhoff said.
Before coming to Walnut Creek, Skinner worked for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in Reno while attending the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He also has a master's degree from Cal State East Bay and as well as 28 years of law enforcement experience.
Skinner grew up in Contra Costa County, attending Miramonte High School in Orinda He has been a police captain for three years, had been a lieutenant for 10 years and before that was sergeant and an officer/detective, all in Walnut Creek.
"I am very honored and excited to be given the opportunity to help transition our police department into the next generation of leadership, and I am looking forward to working with both members of our department and the community as we move the (department) into the future," Skinner said in an email.
He takes the reins from Bryden, who has been the city's police chief since June 2008. Bryden leaves with exactly five years on the job in Walnut Creek. He gave about six months' notice, letting city officials know in December of his plans to retire.
Before coming to Walnut Creek, Bryden had been assistant police chief in San Diego, where he worked for 28 years, starting as a patrol officer.
Bryden has been chief during some of the worst budget cuts in the city's history, which caused fewer officers and led to the ending of school resource and motorcycle traffic officers. Last month, Bryden said the department was on track to have about five new officers joining the ranks by the end of year.
Bryden retires with a salary of about $200,000 a year.