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Central Coast City Selects New Police Chief

A law enforcement officer with four decades of experience has been named police chief for the Central Coast’s largest city.

Phil Hansen is Santa Maria’s new chief. He joined the department as one of its commanders in 2013, and last month was named acting chief.

Hansen served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 36 years, working his way through the ranks before retiring as a captain. He’ll officially become Santa Maria’s chief this Saturday, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Ralph Martin.

Hansen is taking on a tough job, with a spike in the city’s gang problem in the last year that’s led to a rise in violent crimes and murders.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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