Santa Cruz Police Department picks a new Chief

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Santa Cruz Police Department has announced its hire of Chief Andy Mills.

Mills is currently serving as the Police Chief of Eureka, California.

Santa Cruz City Manager, Martin Bernal said, “I am excited to appoint our new police chief, Andy Mills, contingent upon the completion of the background process.  Andy brings a wealth of experience currently serving as Chief of Eureka, California as well as holding positions of police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, commander, and captain in the San Diego, California Police Department.”

Bernal said Chief Mills went through an extensive review and vetting process that included a nationwide search and community process.

To better communicate with the community, Chief Mills and the Eureka Police Department has what they call a Police Transparency Portal.

“In an effort to be transparent, the Eureka Police Department and the Chief’s Advisory Panel, have created a transparency portal. The purpose of this portal is to give direct access of EPD policy, statistics and press releases to the public.  The Transparency Portal will ultimately include officer involved shooting executive summaries, video released to the public via the media and more,” said Eureka Police.

According to Eureka’s transparency portal, the department helped lower reporting’s of unsheltered homelessness by 60 percent, a problem that still remains a big issue in Santa Cruz.

Chief Mills also wrote about his stance on illegal immigrants.

“EPD will not become immigration officers.  We do not have the skills, training or tools.  This is not how I believe we should spend our precious time and minimal resources. Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, not a local one.  The 250,000 Homeland Security personnel can handle this duty well. Having said that, if any federal agency calls for help we will be there for them. Not communicating with them and sharing intelligence on very serious crime and terror issues is shortsighted and leaves Eureka vulnerable.  EPD is not interested however finding reasons to detain people for minor infractions,” said Chief Mills.

Santa Cruz Chief Kevin Vogel officially retired last week. However, Santa Cruz city officials said Chief Mills won’t likely take his place until August.

“I am confident that Andy will be a tremendous addition to the leadership of the department and the City as a whole, and will make Santa Cruz Police an even stronger public safety department; the premier agency in the state,” said Bernal.

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