Nevada City Police chief Tim Foley resigns | TheUnion.com

Nevada City Police chief Tim Foley resigns

Nevada City's top cop resigned late Friday afternoon, citing personal reasons.

Police Chief Tim Foley was hired in late 2013 and started as the full-time chief in February 2014. Reached by phone Sunday, Foley said he did not feel his resignation was abrupt, adding that he had been mulling over the decision for several months.

"When I took the job, I committed to being here three to five years, and it's been four years," he said. "In assessing the department, it's well-positioned right now."

Foley said the department is almost fully staffed with several new hires in the pipeline, adding, "There are several new energetic, enthusiastic officers on board with great community relations skills. I think the timing is good to leave."

Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser confirmed that he met with Foley on Friday, along with council member Evans Phelps and city manager Catrina Olson. Strawser declined to comment on the specifics of Foley's resignation and said the council will meet Tuesday to decide on the next step.

"We have not decided what we are going to do," he said. "We will weigh out our options."

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Foley said Olson, who recently was named city manager, was in agreement with his departure.

"I'm not leaving her in the lurch," Foley said. "This gives her the opportunity to pick someone of her own choosing."

Strawser said the council probably will opt to bring in an interim police chief for now.

"Every option is on the table at the moment," he said.

But, he added, a permanent part-time chief would not be a possibility due to California Public Employees' Retirement System issues; that is what caused the departure of the police chief prior to Foley, Jim Wickham.

Wickham, a retiree from the Mill Valley police department, had planned to work for Nevada City part-time, but left in October 2013 under pressure from the state's employee pension program.

Retired Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry served as interim part-time chief between Wickham and Foley.

Foley, who retired from the San Francisco Police Department as a lieutenant, had more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. He said he took the position because he has always enjoyed Nevada City.

"I thought I could give something back to the city, and I think I have," Foley said, pointing to bringing a K-9, Rudiger, into the department, the implementation of body cameras and upgrades to the department's radios and computers, as well as participation in National Night Out.

"I'm on the books for another 60 days," he said. "I'm available whenever I'm needed. But as soon as an interim (chief) comes in, that will be it. … I want to get back to enjoying my retirement."

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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