Stevenson named police chief for South Lake Tahoe |

Stevenson named police chief for South Lake Tahoe

David Stevenson is the new police chief for South Lake Tahoe.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Lake Tahoe has a new police chief.

The city said in a press release that David Stevenson was selected out of five finalists to be the top cop, a place he has called home since he was 5 years old.

Stevenson started with SLTPD as a patrol officer more than 25 years ago and worked his way up to lieutenant before this latest promotion.

Stevenson’s dad was also a peace officer in South Lake Tahoe.

“This department has truly been my life’s work,” Stevenson said in the release. “The officers who work in our department are the best of the best and I am proud to continue on the legacy of trust, accountability, and public safety we’ve had for so many years.”

“This is a time for stability inside of a department that has been doing so much good for so long,” said City Manager Joe Irvin. “David doesn’t just understand this department, he knows South Lake Tahoe and I am confident he will bring fresh ideas and continue to lead the department in the right direction.”

Stevenson said in the release that he wants to collaborate with regional and community-based organizations to help the homeless and people facing addiction and mental illness.

“We also have a responsibility to make sure our officers are accountable to providing high quality, unbiased service to our diverse population,” he said.

The search for a new chief included a national search, community and technical panels and a community town hall where the public submitted questions, the release said.

The city named five finalists last week including Lt. Shannon Laney who was a co-interim chief with Stevenson during the search, Cpt. John Gunderson of the Redwood City Police Department, Lt. Tina Jones of the Portland Police Bureau and Deputy Chief of the Sacramento Police Department Katherine Lester.

Kevin Brunner, the leader of the South Lake Black Lives Matter movement, applauded the decision.

“We all had opinions because we put in the work,” said Brunner who was involved in the entire process. “We were leaning more towards Kathy Lester, however, having Stevenson already be a part of this cause is huge. Having Stevenson, Laney or Lester was a win, win, win. I appreciate the help we’ve been gathering from them. No matter what happens, we’re all on the same team and we need to continue to collaborate.”

“It was extremely important we heard our communities voice during the process,” Irvin said. “The police chief isn’t just the chief for some, the chief is the chief for every resident and visitor in South Lake Tahoe.”

Stevenson will be sworn in at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that Kevin Brunner is the leader of the South Lake Tahoe Black Lives Matter movement. Incorrect information was provided in the original post.

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