RIVERBANK — Police Chief Bill Pooley has taken a job with the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department after leading law enforcement services here for 4½ years.
Starting next week, Pooley will serve as undersheriff in Tuolumne County, overseeing day-to-day operations. His last day in Riverbank is Friday. Sgt. Erin Kiely, 43, will be interim chief in Riverbank until a new top cop is selected, officials said.
Pooley, 43, will return to the Mother Lode region where his career started in 1990. He worked for the Sonora Police Department before he was hired as a patrol deputy for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department in 1994.
During almost 19 years with Stanislaus County, Pooley was a street crime detective and drug enforcement agent, and supervised patrol after being promoted to sergeant in 2005. He also worked with a drug-trafficking task force and was acting police chief for Hughson.
Pooley was promoted to lieutenant in 2007 and, a year later, was named the chief in Riverbank, which contracts with the Sheriff's Department for police services. In Riverbank, he managed a substation with 20 sworn deputies.
He was paid $112,350 last year.
"Throughout my career with the Sheriff's Department, I got to work some great cases and I am really going to miss all the people I worked with," Pooley said. "Working with the city of Riverbank has been amazing."
Pooley said he was not looking for a career change when he was contacted by representatives of Tuolumne County. "I did some interviews, and it just felt like the right thing to do in my career," he said.
Riverbank City Manager Jill Anderson said Pooley has served the city well. She said the tentative plan, pending City Council approval, is to interview candidates for chief after a council vacancy is filled by the June special election.
City officials will choose a new chief from a pool of qualified candidates submitted by Sheriff Adam Christianson, the city manager said. Under the plan, a panel would conduct interviews in June or July and a new chief could start work in August, Anderson said.
"I had the opportunity to meet with Sergeant Kiely and believe he can fulfill the duties of the position on an interim basis," the city manager said.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.