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Date: February 5, 2003
For Immediate Release

Contact: Frank Benest
City Manager
(650) 329-2563

Police Chief to Retire - Assistant Chief Moves Up

Palo Alto, CA -- City Manager Frank Benest announced today that Palo Alto Police Chief Pat Dwyer will retire on May 17. Dwyer has been Chief in the City since 1998. Benest also announced his appointment of Assistant Chief Lynne Johnson to the position of Chief.

"We have been very fortunate to have Pat these past five years. He has contributed an enormous amount to the City, including two major Department reorganizations. Pat created the Technical Services Division that upgraded the computer technology of the department. He also developed and implemented the Department's Strategic Plan," said Benest.

"Thanks to Chief Dwyer we now have a Financial/High Tech Crimes Unit and a Terrorism Coordinator," said Benest. "We are very proud of Pat and all that he has done to improve the safety and security of our community."

Dwyer graduated from San Jose State, the California POST Command College and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Program. He came to the City of Palo Alto after a career in the San Jose Police Department.

"I'm pleased that I am leaving the Department 100% staffed for sworn positions, which is a major accomplishment given the difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified staff in this area," said Dwyer. As part of that staffing program, Dwyer initiated innovative recruitment incentive programs and instituted a formal Succession Plan that gives young officers a career path inside the organization.

"I think that our retention strategies, including the 4 day/11hour schedule in Patrol has helped. Plus we've set up new Department policies for promotions and specialized assignments to keep people engaged and provide a variety of experiences in policing," said Dwyer. "I'm very proud of all our personnel and think that the City is fortunate to have such a high caliber of officers to serve."

One of those high caliber officers will be replacing Dwyer.

"It's with great pleasure that I welcome Lynne Johnson into the role of Police Chief as of May 18," said Benest. "Lynne has been with the Police Department for 28 years, and served as a Field Training Officer, Research Analyst, and Watch Commander. She progressed through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and was the Department's first female captain and assistant chief, a position she has held for 15 years," said Benest. "This is a person who knows this city and this department inside and out and we are confident in her ability to lead us forward in these challenging times."

In addition to numerous accolades as an officer, Johnson also received the Chamber of Commerce's prestigious Athena Award for 2000 as a professional woman who serves as a role model for others. Johnson was the first female president of the Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Executive Council from 1995-96. As an active member of the Palo Alto community over the years, Johnson was the first female president of the Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto and has been a board member of the club for the past 13 years.

She is currently serving in her sixth year on the Board for the YWCA of the MidPeninsula and has also served on the board of the Palo Alto YMCA. She is a member of various professional organizations including California Peace Officers' Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and FBI National Academy Associates.

Johnson was educated at San Jose State University and received her Masters in Public Administration from the Consortium of California Colleges and Universities. She is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

"I know that the community joins me in expressing its thanks to Chief Dwyer and appreciation of his outstanding contributions and in welcoming incoming Chief Johnson," said Benest.

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