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New Oroville police chief focuses on department staffing levels after Camp Fire

Oroville's new police and fire chief is still settling into his new role, but with a population increase post-Camp Fire, he's facing some challenges.

Posted: Aug 8, 2019 11:12 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Oroville's new police and fire chief is still settling into his new role, but with a population increase post-Camp Fire, he's facing some challenges. 

Joe Deal has been involved in law enforcement for 23 years, and now he's ready to take on the new role. 

"To now be able to have the opportunity to lead the department is very exciting and very rewarding," he said. 

He said one of the challenges he is expecting involves staffing levels in the police and fire departments. 

Currently, the Oroville Police Department has 10 officers and is looking to fill six positions. 

"In my opinion, if we were able to raise the staffing levels then we could probably raise the service to our citizens as well," he said. 

The Oroville Fire Department has 13 firefighters staffed and is looking to fill four positions. Thanks to Measure U, the City of Oroville is able to add additional positions, two new firefighters and two new police officers.

Since the Camp Fire, Deal said his departments are seeing more calls for service, but emphasized reported crime numbers have stayed the same. 

Deal said Oroville is in a growth and development phase, one that he feels ready to lead as a new chief. 

"It's just something I've always wanted to advance, it was the next step my career and so when the opportunity presented itself, I took it," he said. 

Deal hopes to fill his staffing goals by the beginning of next year.

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The final Friday of November was a beautiful one for northern California with plentiful sunshine, warmer than average temperatures and weaker wind. We can expect plenty of sunshine and continued mild weather this weekend.
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