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New SLT Police Chief details plans for department, community

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 2:33 AM PDT
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South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (KOLO) - Accountability, transparency and trust are just some of David Stevenson’s top priorities as the newly elected Police Chief of South Lake Tahoe.

“Building that trust and having that public trust is really the pivot point for our ability to police this city,” Chief Stevenson said.

He has lived in the town for 43 years and has worked for the SLT Police Department for more than 25 years.

“I have a lot invested in this community. I really love this town.”

Chief David Stevenson, South Lake Tahoe Police Department

The Chief says getting the go-ahead for body cameras has been years in the making. The City of South Lake Tahoe is allocating close to $470,000 for 42 body cameras and 28 in car cameras. They have an automatic turn-on and recording feature, which also turns on for nearby back-up officers. When a camera is activated, it provides GPS location data to supervisors and dispatch, and tells them what activated the camera.

Chief Stevenson added, “Our officers are supportive of the body worn camera program and it’s good for us, good for the community and safety for everybody so we’re looking forward to it.”

The topic of body cameras is just one of the new Police Chief’s plans for the department to continue building trust with the community. He says for the agency to succeed, it needs to open and connect with residents, now more than ever.

“We need to keep moving forward in this community,” Chief Stevenson said, “Making myself available and my officers available to meet with the community at all the different levels and to all our different populations.”

Despite working through COVID-19 while tackling the issue of racism from within, he says many locals are happy to see his policemen and women engaging with them.

Chief Stevenson added, “They really have demonstrated the ability to express their concerns, protest peacefully, and we hear the message.”

The Chief may only be a few days into the new job as the city’s top cop, but he’s certain his team will continue to bring positive change.

“I want to keep that community dialogue moving forward,” Chief Stevenson said.

He started with the department as a patrol officer and worked his way up to Lieutenant before begin named chief. Stevenson will officially be sworn in as Police Chief on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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