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Bricker retires but still on job
Police chiefs long good-bye saves city $60,000
Dave Bricker instituted monthly “breakfast with the chief” sessions to listen to concerns of citizens. - photo by Bulletin file photo by Glenn Kahl
Dave Bricker’s “last day” as Manteca’s full-time police chief was Thursday.

But he’ll still be running the Manteca Police Department for the next year.

That’s because Bricker retired Thursday and was immediately retained on a contractual basis for 960 hours for the balance of the current fiscal year that ends June 30 and then for 960 hours for the next fiscal year starting July 1.

The move locks in his retirement and saves Manteca $60,000 at the same time as they are not paying into his retirement with the Public Employees Retirement System, his health benefits, or other payroll related costs. Instead, he is being paid per hour with a maximum of 36 hours a week on the clock.

The move also doesn’t enhance Bricker’s retirement pay. He is limited to 960 hours a year under PERS rules that he can work without jeopardizing his retirement.

Bricker on Tuesday said the move benefitted the city by saving Manteca $60,000. It also made it possible for him to retire in 2010 before possible changes to the retirement rules go into effect in 2011 that would be to his personal financial detriment.

Bricker indicated there were a number of things he wished to accomplish during his final year on the job:

•Rehiring some or all of the 12 police officers that were laid off due to budget shortfalls.

•Renegotiating a new contract with the Manteca Police Officers Association.

•Implement a program similar to Stockton Police Department’s Peacekeeper effort that has proven to be successful at using intervention of trained, non-police personnel to get people away from gangs and drugs.

•Roll-out security plans for the new outlet stores complex going in the center anchored by Bass Pro Shops as well as for the Great Wolf Resort indoor water park and hotel.

•Continuing the Police Chief’s Initiative to help fund programs and activities to steer young people away from crime and drugs.

•Help bring on board a successor as police chief who Bricker said “is as committed to the community as I am” to allow for a smooth transition.

Mayor Willie Weatherford - a former Manteca police chief himself - praised Bricker for “taking over the job “in the worst of times” and managing to keep the department’s efforts focused on protecting and serving the community despite budget challenges.

Weatherford echoed Bricker’s first priority of working to restore vacant police officer positions. The mayor noted it will take a combination of positive signs in sales and property tax revenue - that city leaders believe will happen in 2011 - plus how well negotiations go.

The department has 58 sworn officers. That number was at 70 prior to the October 209 cutback.
Of the remaining officers 41 are paid from general fund receipts, 11 from the Measure M half cent public safety sales tax, two from interest collect on the public safety endowment fund set up from developer fees, and four from federal stimulus funds.

Bricker has served 3.5 years as police chief so far. He replaced Charlie Halford who succeeded Richard Gregson who followed Weatherford.

Bricker has served as a Manteca peace officer since 1979.