Amid years of sinking morale, intradepartment spats and an employee lawsuit that aired much of the police department's dirty laundry, Newport Beach is set to bring on a new chief — its third in three years — on July 3.
Jay R. Johnson, 45, is looking to head a police department far from perfect, but according to officers, one that is on the upswing.
"There was a lack of trust among the line-level troops and management," said Officer Dave Syvock, president of the Newport Beach Police Assn., which represents rank-and-file employees. "That trust deteriorated because of the belief there wasn't a fair practice in promotions and selection for specialty assignments. We're getting to a point where we're starting to build up some of that morale but we still have work to do."