Kensington mulls disbanding police force

As the quaint, unincorporated Contra Costa County community of Kensington once again searches for an interim police chief, officials are mulling major changes — including possibly disbanding their police force.

In October, the Kensington Police and Community Services District voted 3-2 to select former Santa Clara police Chief Kevin Kyle for the part-time job.

Kyle resigned last Friday, leaving the district scrambling to find a replacement. In his resignation letter, Kyle said:

“I do not believe the part time schedule I am constrained by will allow me to achieve the excellence I demand of myself and the District deserves.”

Kyle’s departure came in the wake of the November election that put two new members onto the district board and after the recent hire of a new district lawyer.

One possible outcome would be to separate out the police chief job from the general manager job; another would be to disband the police force entirely and contract out for law enforcement services, board president Len Welsh said:

“There’s a lot of change in the air right now and it would be good in my view if we let things settle down for a couple of months (before making any major changes).”

Welsh said it’s possible that the man Kyle replaced, former interim Chief/general manager Kevin Hart, could come back to the job while the district renews its search for a permanent replacement.