Former San Ramon police Capt. Dan Pratt has come back to the department on a part-time basis to serve as acting police chief overseeing certain regular leadership duties while police chief Joe Gorton works concurrently as interim city manager.
Pratt, who retired from the department in June after more than 26 years in law enforcement, has been working as acting chief for 20 to 30 hours per week as necessary since August "handling many of the day-to-day operations," Gorton confirmed Monday.
"The San Ramon Police Department is very special to me, and I am happy to help out to ensure we maintain the high quality of police service that the community is accustomed to," Pratt said in a statement Monday.
Gorton said he remains as San Ramon's police chief, still making "all high-level decisions regarding the department."
The move to bring Pratt on board to supplement the police department was made during the first month of Gorton pulling double duty this summer and assessing his workload, according to Gorton.
Gorton started as interim city manager July 1, with the San Ramon City Council appointing him as a temporary replacement for retiring city manager Greg Rogers.
"One of the council's main concerns was ensuring that the quality and continuity of services for both offices would not suffer during this transition period," Gorton said. "That was my chief concern as well."
Pratt, an original member of the department and its second highest ranked officer when he retired almost three months ago, offered to return to work on a temporary basis if needed during the city's leadership transition, according to Gorton.
"Since Dan was the second in command of the police department just prior to his retirement, was acting chief on several occasions during my absence and was one of the original team members who developed the San Ramon Police Department in 2007, it was a no-brainer," Gorton said.
Gorton cited Pratt's familiarity with San Ramon police personnel and operations in addition to his having nearly three decades of law enforcement experience and holding a law degree.
"I would not have hired an outside person for this," Gorton added. "He not only helped create and build the police department; he has been a major reason for the department's success over the years."
Pratt, who is paid on an hourly basis, agreed to serve as part-time acting chief through the November municipal election, according to Gorton.
The City Council has two seats up for grabs at the polls this fall, with incumbents Phil O'Loane and Scott Perkins vying against challengers Susmita Nayak and Sabina Zafar.
The city hasn't started to recruit for a new permanent city manager, with the current council wanting to wait until after the Nov. 8 election before deciding how to proceed with the hiring process.
"The majority of the council felt that any newly elected council member, if not one of the incumbents, should have the opportunity to weigh in on the selection of the city manager," Gorton said.