Monday, 17 December 2018
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Coronado Swears In New Police Chief Charles Kaye

With just a couple of hours remaining in his first official week on the job, new Coronado Police Chief Charles Kaye, 55, participated in a phone interview regarding his background and plans for the position. Born in San Diego and a graduate of Christian High School, Kaye dabbled in football before moving on to other sports. “My freshman year I played football, but I was too small and got crushed. I transitioned to soccer and lettered. I was also ASB president, but that is about all I can remember from high school.”

Kaye graduated from San Diego State University, where he majored in Speech Communication with a minor in Political Science. He explained, “I went there with an eye on going to law school. Toward the end of that time, I spent the summer working for an attorney, and the job wasn’t what I thought it was. Later I went on a ride-along with an officer in the El Cajon Police Department and that eight hours fired me up to be a cop. That and the fact that my Dad told me I had to get a real job.” Completing his education, Kaye earned a master’s degree in public administration from National University.

Kaye’s background includes being a member of a neighborhood policing team during his patrol time. “We did a myriad of things, focusing on quality of life issues like narcotics. We weren’t tied to the radio. We were self-directed and responded to citizen complaints.”

Figuring since Kaye worked for 27 years with the San Diego Police Department, he surely would know former Coronado Chief Lou Scanlon, I asked him if they knew each other. Kaye said, “Truth be told, I spoke to him before and during the hiring and interview process. I heard good things from Lou about Coronado.”

Kaye was promoted to San Diego PD Assistant Chief in 2016, a position which came with a variety of important assignments. “I had responsibility for the Communications Division and I had Field Operations, which at that time included the SWAT Team, the K-9 group and the Homeless Outreach Team. I also had the IT Department, which was basically anything with a computer chip in it. What was probably the most challenging element was that we were transitioning into a new CAD Computer and Dispatch System. We will go live with a new CAD (Computer-aided Dispatch) System in May 2019 in Coronado, which affects the way a dispatcher takes the call, formats the information and squirts the information out to the officers. Field reports can be written in the new system. We are looking at a significant upgrade in provided services, where we can track data, crime trends and other things. The folks here are well on top of the implementation already. The technology folks, people in this department, officers of different ranks and the professional staff are all involved, which will get us the product we need.”

Kaye said of his enforcement philosophy and plans going forward, “I have been here a week and I am so impressed with the folks in this organization. Personally, I believe policing should address quality of life issues and the citizens want officers to uphold certain traditions in the City of Coronado. They want us to be proactive in addressing traffic, connecting with the community and especially with youth. I’m working hard to get an understanding of what the issues are here. I have been meeting with the staff daily, several times a day, to understand their goals. I plan to have a one-on-one with every member of the department, which will probably take about a month to accomplish. I want to map out strategy, get out and meet the people in the community, schools, in the business district, the churches and hotels. And obviously we want to get very involved with neighborhood groups from the Cays all the way up to the Village.”

Kaye also plans to continue the outreach efforts of recently retired Chief Jon Froomin, with the Coronado Unified School District. “This morning I met Superintendent Karl Mueller at Strand Elementary for their flag ceremony and he walked me around the school for about an hour. We talked to teachers about ways to grow the relationship between the Coronado PD and CUSD. I plan to tour other schools with him and we have an officer assigned to the schools. There are probably opportunities for patrol officers to have a bigger presence in and around our schools. Chief Froomin, the steps he took including being out there on the first day of school, encouraging kids to wear helmets, and officers in the schools, were all tremendous steps forward.”

And what were Kaye’s impressions of Coronado from afar? “I was the captain of the Central Division for a couple of years, which included Downtown and Logan Heights. We shared angst with Coronado any time a person on the bridge threatened to hurt themselves. I was still with the Central Division when the pickup truck went over the bridge and the Coronado officers came across the bridge to help. I was envious looking across the Bay, wondering what it must be like to be a police officer there.”

For the past 10 months, Kaye has served as captain of the San Diego State Police Department, which was a learning experience for him. “We had about 40 people total on the staff and we have more officers in Coronado. Our main responsibilities were the campus proper and the neighborhoods around campus. I think I am a better fit here with more traditional policing as opposed to campus policing. My time spent at SDSU was well worth it, as it helped me understand the complexities of working in a smaller department. I was responsible for day-to-day operations.”

Kaye discussed what he thought separated him from the other 62 applicants for the position. “It’s not about crime stats. Crime is personal. I think people recognize I have an understanding about building relationships in the community. If we have relationships with people, that will develop a solid policing ability. If people trust cops, they report crime and they invite us in.”

The San Diego Regional Police Academy claims Kaye as an instructor, a role which he explained. “Currently I teach a class about crimes against persons and another regarding crimes against property. I teach both classes, with multiple sections and multiple instructors. I do enjoy the interaction with new cops and I enjoy holding myself accountable for staying up-to-date in the world of law enforcement and my knowledge of the Penal Sections.”

In his spare time, Kaye is a volunteer photographer for the “Pomerado News” and he described his passion for travel. “I am actually going to do a photo shoot for Special Olympics this (past) weekend. My wife Lisa and I love to travel. We just got back from Ireland and Scotland. Italy is a super place for sunshine and I really enjoyed Scotland. We were in Edenborough for a few days and I have an itch to go back already.”

Lisa and Chuck have grown children who live out of the house. Lisa works as a respiratory therapist at the VA Hospital in La Jolla. The third member of the Kaye Clan is a Wheaton Terrier named Norman. Kaye said, “He is one of the most stubborn dogs I have ever had in my life.”

When asked for his concluding thoughts, Kaye said, “This is the end of my first week and the folks who make up the Coronado Police Department have been nothing but gracious. They are helping me get up to speed. When I have walked around town, people have been exceptionally friendly, and I am very impressed with how engaged people are with the issues here in town.”


The Bark Box

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