Fortuna Police Chief Bill Dobberstein has announced that he will retire from his position, effective Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo by Mary Bullwinkel, for the Times-Standard)
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After more than 25 years with the Fortuna Police Department, Chief Bill Dobberstein is stepping down. In a letter dated December 3, 2019 to Fortuna City Manager Merritt Perry, Dobberstein announced his retirement, effective Jan. 17, 2020.

“I am excited about my impending retirement but also want to take the opportunity to thank you and the City Council for all of the opportunities that I have experienced while serving as Chief of Police,” Dobberstein said in the letter.

An internal memo to Fortuna Police Department personnel announcing Dobberstein’s retirement was distributed Monday.

Dobberstein has served as police chief in Fortuna since 2011. He joined the Fortuna Police Department on June 24, 1994.

“I am proud of the (police) department and the direction it has gone in the last 8½ years,” Dobberstein said. “The biggest thing for me is to leave the department in good hands.”

“I am proud of many things over the years,” Dobberstein continued, referring to both Measure Z and Measure E, approved by Humboldt County and Fortuna voters respectively. The two measures funded four new officers in the Fortuna Police Department over the past several years: two detectives, a school resource position and a drug task force position.

Dobberstein said he is also proud of his serving on the executive board of the Police Chiefs Association since 2017, serving as Chairman of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, and serving on the Executive Board of the Law Enforcement Chief’s Association of Humboldt County since 2011.

Dobberstein said he knew this day would arrive sooner or later, and he is looking forward to whatever new opportunities will present themselves. He said he will take a little time off to see what else is out there, perhaps within the law enforcement field, and perhaps not.

“I am excited about entering this new phase of my life,” Dobberstein said.

“My biggest priority is to make sure the department is well managed and can move forward when I am not longer here,” Dobberstein said.

In his letter to the city manager, Dobberstein said, “Please let me know what I can do to help with the transition within the city and the department. I do plan on working right up to my retirement date and want a smooth transition.”

 

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