California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 22

Beverly Hills Chief Celebrities? Sure. But Dave Snowden remains laser focused on public safety Paris Hilton. Paula Abdul. Playboy Bunnies. David L. Snowden isn’t exactly complaining about some of the photo ops he’s had to suffer through since being named chief of police of Beverly Hills in 2004. The glossy celeb stuff, he realizes, kind of goes with the turf. But the culture of this star-studded city goes far beyond the stereotypes ingrained in the public consciousness by popular films such as “Beverly Hills Cop.” Behind the glamorous images of palm-tree lined streets and luxurious boutiques is a well-oiled police department regarded as one of the most modern and professional not only in the state, but the country. In a recent telephone interview with CalChiefs, Snowden was a good sport when asked about the celebrity hob-nobbing he has been required to engage in as Beverly Hills’ top cop. I’m having so much fun I can’t wait to get to work. He was more eager, however, to discuss the many ways technology is being used to keep this 5.3-square-mile city, with a population of about 35,000 that can swell to about 300,000 on any day with workers and tourists, as crime free as possible. “I truly believe Beverly Hills is the safest small metropolitan city in the United States,” said Snowden, 69, who has served as a police chief in four consecutive decades, his longest stint in Costa Mesa from 1986 to 2003. The former brigadier general in the U.S. Army also was police chief of Baldwin Park, a post he assumed in 1980. In the 1980s, brick-sized cell phones were considered state of the art. Now, when Snowden sits at his home in Newport Beach, where he lives on the weekends with his wife of more than 41 years, Ellyn, he can pick up his iPhone 5 and do some pretty incredible stuff. 22 | Behind The Badge Photos of Chief Snowden with Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, Playboy Bunnies and|Kirk23 Douglas Spring 2013