Burbank Chief of Police Scott LaChasse Announces His Upcoming Retirement
Burbank, CA (May 27, 2021) – Burbank Chief of Police Scott LaChasse has announced his upcoming retirement from the Burbank Police Department. His last day as Police Chief will be July 6, 2021. His retirement will mark the end of an unparalleled 51-year career in law enforcement. Chief LaChasse’s 11 1/2-year tenure in Burbank has been characterized by innovation, transparency, establishment of personal accountability and service excellence.
Chief LaChasse has been involved as a local law enforcement officer and private security professional since March 1970, when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Following a 32-year career with the LAPD, having worked scores of diverse assignments, Chief LaChasse retired as a Deputy Chief. His final assignment was Commanding Officer of Operations-South Bureau, a command of approximately 1800 personnel. Chief LaChasse then assumed a new role in the private security sector as the Vice President of Studio Protection for Paramount Pictures Corporation. After his retirement from Paramount Pictures, he transitioned to Southern California Edison as the Manager of Regulatory Compliance. On January 7, 2010, he was appointed as the Chief of Police of the Burbank Police Department (BPD).
“Onward and upward” is not only a phrase often used by Scott LaChasse, it has epitomized his approach to leading and managing the BPD. He is a strong proponent of community policing and incorporating law enforcement “best practices” wherever possible. He is known for practicing what he preaches. For example, during his career he has dedicated himself to selfless service as a volunteer and member of numerous boards of directors. Some of the more notable organizations include the Los Angeles Police Museum, the Parker Foundation, Challenger Boys & Girls Club, Chief Special Agents Association, and Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County. The Chief is also a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Burbank Noon Rotary Club, FBI National Academy Associates, International Association of Chiefs of Police, California Police Chiefs Association, and the California Peace Officers Association. Chief LaChasse has lectured on national and international levels to public officials concerning leadership and the management of critical incidents.
Chief LaChasse holds a B.S. degree with Honor from California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA) and an MPA degree from the University of Southern California (USC). He is an ardent proponent of Constitutional Policing, ethical behavior, continuous improvement, police/community partnerships, strategic planning, continuing education and simply “doing the right thing!”
During his tenure in Burbank, Chief LaChasse was an innovator. He began by partnering with sworn and civilian personnel to create a contemporary mission statement and formulating the core values of Respect, Integrity and Excellence. He also established the Peer Support and Chaplain programs. Further, he endeavored to develop truly state-of-the art policies and procedures. Similarly, SWAT capabilities were expanded and enhanced.
Chief LaChasse also instituted a rigorous audit schedule and was instrumental in obtaining the services of the Office of Independent Review (OIR), a civilian oversight body, to conduct independent audits of citizen complaints, uses of force, bias policing, police vehicular pursuits, and related matters. Under Chief LaChasse’s leadership, the BPD went through the rigorous steps for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), the gold standard in public safety. The CALEA accreditation complemented Chief LaChasse’s embrace of the six pillars of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. In fact, one of Chief LaChasse’s most significant improvements to BPD field operations was in direct alignment with Pillar No. 3 of the Task Force, which addressed the effective use of technology. Chief LaChasse was responsible for the purchase and deployment of both in-car and body-worn camera systems. Following their use, personnel complaints dropped precipitously. Also, he introduced the Burbank Police Commission and Police Department to training and standards of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).
Despite these impressive innovations, perhaps Chief LaChasse’s most meaningful contributions to the City of Burbank have been in the area of police/community relations. He has personally engaged the community at every opportunity. During his time as Chief, he expanded the BPD’s Community Academy to include communities that speak only Spanish and Armenian. One session was devoted solely to the deaf community. He has encouraged his senior staff to be involved in the community as well. Senior BPD staff serve on the boards of directors of the Family Service Agency, Burbank Police Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley. Chief LaChasse currently is a member of the Burbank City Council’s Racial Equity and Diversity Subcommittee.
One of the most enduring aspects of Scott LaChasse’s legacy will be the Mental Health Evaluation Team (MHET) that was formed and deployed during his tenure. This co-response model has proven its efficacy many times over as MHET personnel have managed the mentally impaired and the homeless population in Burbank. Even as the Chief heads for the door, he has put plans in place to expand the MHET function in order to provide coverage seven days a week.
Chief LaChasse’s retirement follows his recent receipt of the prestigious Joe Rosen Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC). The award, in part, cited his “serving myriad diverse communities with dedication, integrity, compassion and outstanding leadership.”
STATEMENT FROM CITY MANAGER JUSTIN HESS
I want to thank Chief LaChasse for all his service to the Burbank community. Over eleven years ago, the Chief came to the department at a time of turmoil and uncertainty. From implementing progressive policing policies to instilling strong organizational values and a culture of continuous improvement, the Chief leaves an impressive legacy. His leadership will be felt for many years in the future through the innovations and systems that he brought to the BPD. The Chief’s sincerity, openness and engagement with the community have served to build public trust and legitimacy.