Police director named in response to scathing survey

Bruce Stedman has accepted a two-year interim position as Public Safety Director of the Arlington Police Department.

The change implements recommendations of the Matrix study that was critical of police department management and operations. The study details steps and management tools that can improve the effectiveness of the city's policing and public safety efforts.

Stedman has more than 36 years of experience in public safety and has a proven track record of developing strong performance management systems and data-driven analysis to operate in a targeted and effective manner.

He has a master's degree in Emergency Services Administration and a bachelor's degree in Occupational Studies, both from the California State University, Long Beach.

Police Cmdr. Brian DeWitt and Deputy Fire Chief Tom Cooper will report to Stedman.

DeWitt has been serving as interim chief since Nelson Beazley resigned suddenly May 20. No reason was given, citing personnel exemptions, but it did occur right after the study came out May 15.

The study says the increase in crime in the city the past four years needs to be studied so a plan can be made to reduce it. The study also says the department has top-notch response times, but needs another officer. A continuing theme was poor communication and lack of training.

Along with a public safety director, the study says the department needs to be more "community focused" and to be an "accountable organization."

More than 70 percent of the 29 staff in the police department indicated dissatisfaction through personal interviews and an anonymous survey.

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