Source: Ulring appointed police chief

Update (3:25 p.m.): City Manager Gordon Palmer confirmed he appointed Blair Ulring chief of police this afternoon. He said he told Ulring of the decision in a telephone call, then called City Council members to inform them.


“Blair knows our police force. He’s been dealing with a lot of difficult change … helped us get through this difficult time with the budget,” Palmer said. “I think he has some good ideas for moving the department forward.”


Blair Ulring this afternoon was appointed chief of police, City Manager Gordon Palmer choosing a department insider over candidates from outside Stockton nine months after Tom Morris, the previous chief, retired, a source said.


An official announcement is to follow, the source said.


The appointment followed panel interviews of Ulring and San Jose Deputy Police Chief Donald K. Anders on Friday and a lunch Palmer had Tuesday with Ulring. The panel included Palmer, Mayor Ann Johnston, Deputy City Manager Laurie Montes, City Attorney Ren Nosky and Human Resources Director Dianna Garcia. Anders, who was identified by four sources as the finalist other than Ulring, has not returned several telephone calls for comment.


Johnston and a City Council majority had called for a nationwide search to replace Morris, if only to compare external candidates to Ulring and other applicants from inside the department. The city has never appointed a chief from outside the department, officials have said.


Ulring, 49, was second in command when Morris retired in October, and he has overseen the department since. Palmer named Ulring interim chief in February. The Police Department is the city’s largest, with about 386 sworn officers and an annual budget of more than $92 million. Stockton in 2008 had the second-highest violent crime rate among California’s largest cities, behind Oakland, and the eighth-highest violent crime rate nationwide.


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