East Palo Alto appoints new interim police chief 

For the second time in 10 years, the city of East Palo Alto has appointed Steve Belcher as its interim police chief.

According to City Manager Magda Gonzalez, Belcher will replace the department's current interim chief, Lee Violett, who has reached the maximum number of hours allowed for a retiree under the state's retirement system regulations.

"We're very fortunate to have him joining our team -- he knows the community and knows our strengths and challenges, and I am confident that his skills and talent will be of great benefit to East Palo Alto," Gonzalez said in a statement.

"In addition to welcoming Mr. Belcher, the city also offers its appreciation to Interim Chief Lee Violett for his exemplary service in that role during the first half of this year," Gonzalez said.

A veteran law enforcement officer with four decades of experience, Belcher has served as interim chief in several cities throughout California, including East Palo Alto from 2004 to 2005, according to Gonzalez.

He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University, Fresno and a master's degree in public governance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Belcher is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

"My experience here nearly 10 years ago was extremely rewarding, and I'm eager to work together with East Palo Alto's police and other staff, and the great people of this community, to address the challenges we face," Belcher said in a statement.

Belcher's work as interim chief begins today.

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