Support for approval on a contract for Kelley Fraser to become the next Chief of the Alhambra Police Department was overwhelmingly positive at Monday night’s Alhambra City Council meeting.
Council members Sasha Renee Perez, Ross Maza and Adele Andrade-Stadler all voted to confirm the contract that will come at an annual salary of $233,343.84, as did Vice Mayor Jeffrey Maloney and Mayor Katherine Lee for a 5-0 vote.
Fraser will officially become Chief on Dec. 27, a week after outgoing Chief Eric Parra is sworn in as the new Chief in Huntington Beach, where he has resided since 1993.
Perez couldn’t say enough about the appointment of Fraser, who was Assistant Chief for Alhambra PD from October 2019 through this past September before retiring. She was asked by Parra to consider coming back to be Chief.
“It’s been great just getting to know Chief Fraser better,” Perez said. “She’s fantastic. I know we were all a little sad to lose Chief Parra, but I think she’s going to be an excellent leader within our police department.
“It’s also wonderful to know that they’ve worked so closely together and I think that they share a lot of the same kind of values and vision around community policing, which is certainly a priority for me and I know a priority for the community.”
Fraser will be just the second female police chief in the San Gabriel Valley along with Monterey Park’s Kelly Gordon. Fraser will also be the first permanent female police chief in the 118-year history of Alhambra PD.
This is not lost on Perez.
“I also did see on the news that she is going to be only the second female police chief in the entire San Gabriel Valley, so I do think that’s pretty cool that we’ll also be making some history with this in these positions that are usually held by men; it’s certainly nice to see a woman in leadership,” Perez said.
Parra was also named Assistant Chief in October 2019 before being made chief this past March. He and Fraser previously worked together while at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.
Maloney said the city is fortunate to have someone the caliber of Fraser step into this role.
“I think you want to express appreciation for Chief Parra for thinking about this and considering what position he’d be leaving the city in,” Maloney said. “I don’t begrudge him moving to take the reins of his hometown; I totally understand that.
“But I do appreciate the fact that he’s able to help fill the void that was created by his departure with somebody that he’s obviously got a lot of confidence in, that he’s worked with for a long time both in Alhambra and at the Sheriff’s Department, so we’re pretty fortunate.”
Chief Fraser this past week talked about her excitement upon learning she was wanted as the next chief.
“Immediately you’re humbled and you automatically go to, it’s heavy shoes to fill behind Chief Parra because I know what he’s done here; I’ve worked with him and for him in my career,” she said. “And now to be offered that type of opportunity, let’s just say it was overwhelming, but (I’m) completely excited and looking forward to this great opportunity as well.”