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Mantecas police chief is retiring
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Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion is retiring.
Obligacion who has served as police chief since January of 2012 is retiring effective Aug. 16.
He had agreed to stay on as a “retired annuitant” under California Public Employment Retirement System rules until a replacement is found or until March 31, 2017, whichever comes first.
That will give the next city manager — who has yet to be hired — the opportunity to select Obligacion’s successor. Current City Manager Karen McLaughlin’s last day on the job will be July 21. She retired earlier this year but agreed to stay on under the same CalPERS rule that allows Obligacion to do the same.
Several days later — on July 24 — Fire Chief Kirk Waters is departing to work as a respiratory therapist to work with sick newborns at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
 There is a chance the Manteca City Council could offer a contract to McLaughlin’s replacement on Tuesday as they have a 6:45 p.m. special meeting behind closed doors with appointment of a city manager as the sole agenda item. That session takes place before the regularly scheduled 7 p.m. council meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The new city manager would also be appointing a new fire chief as well as a new community development director. Current Community Development Director Frederic Clark retired officially in January. He also agreed to stay on under the CalPERS rule that allowed someone drawing a pension to work up to 960 hours in a given fiscal year.
During Obligacion’s watch, crime in virtually all major categories dropped for four consecutive years.
Despite that, the police chief has always made it clear that the officers in his department would never be satisfied unless the day came that there was no crime in Manteca.
Obligacion is also the first police chief to try and address the homeless problem in a manner seeking a solution that improves the situation for the long term. In the past the city would step-up enforcement when complaints reached a certain crescendo and back off after homeless issues were reduced without making any effort to assist the homeless to get off the street or keep the pressure on those homeless that commit crimes. As a result Manteca’s historic addressing of homeless issues have been cyclical flaring up roughly every two years.
When he took on a concerted effort to address the homeless issue two years ago at the council’s direction, the police chief made it clear enforcement action would be by the spirit and not the letter of the law.
Obligacion has served as a police officer, K-9 officer, motor officer, motor sergeant, SWAT team member, SWAT team leader, tactical commander, and sergeant. He came to Manteca from Monterrey County where he served as a deputy sheriff.
Obligacion earned his bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute and University. He earned his certificate in contemporary management for police administration from San Jose State University.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email