The Piedmont City Council has named Richelle "Rikke" Goede as the city's new chief of police, according to a press release issued Tuesday afternoon.
Goede will be formally appointed to the position at the Jan. 7 city council meeting. She will start at $172,692 per year, the same salary most recently received by former Chief John Hunt, who retired last June.
Goede is currently an assistant chief with the San Jose Police Department.
According to the city announcement, Goede started her career as a police officer, then sergeant, with the City of San Diego, where she worked for 10 years. For the past 16 years, Goede has worked in the City of San Jose, beginning as an officer and working her way up to the position of assistant chief.
Goede, who joined the San Jose police force in 1996, was appointed assistant chief in August 2011 by Chief Chris Moore.
"Goede has worked in virtually all areas of police activities, including patrol, field training, crime prevention, internal affairs, robbery, gang investigations and a variety of command assignments," the announcement says.
Goede attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.
She was chosen unanimously by the council from a field of 51 candidates, according to the announcement. Her appointment follows interviews of qualified candidates by a City Council committee, a panel of residents, and the full city council, who made the final selection.
A professional recruiter hired by the City, Regan Williams of the firm Bob Murray & Associates, developed a list of candidates for the job and did initial screenings.
"The City Council unanimously agreed that Ms. Goede will fit extraordinarily well with the community and the department," according to the press release.
“We are pleased that the recruitment process developed such qualified candidates, in particular Assistant Chief Goede,” Mayor John Chiang said in a written statement.
“I would like to express my appreciation to members of the Council committee, Vice Mayor Margaret Fujioka and Councilmember Garrett Keating; as well as the three members of the residents’ panel, Ray Marshall, Michael Bruck, and Angela Hom.”
City Administrator Geoffrey Grote said in a statement, “Each of the finalists was well qualified to serve as Piedmont’s Chief of Police. Piedmont would have been well served with each of them. However, Assistant Chief Goede distinguished herself among this outstanding group.”
In separate statements released Tuesday afternoon, Goede said, "It's with a heavy heart that I leave the San Jose Police Department...I was lucky enough to work alongside some of the best cops in the country. I'm excited to have the opportunity to lead a professional department like Piedmont's.
“Piedmont is a wonderful community with an excellent police department and I am very excited to be able to serve the City.”
The position has been vacant since the retirement of Chief John "Rusty" Hunt in June 2012. Hunt, who began his career with the Piedmont Police Department in 1987, served for two years as interim chief before being permanently appointed to the job in November of 2010.
Capt. Scott Wyatt has served as the department's interim chief since Hunt's retirement.
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