Clovis Police Chief Davis set to retire.

The Fresno BeeOctober 29, 2013 

Clovis Police Chief Janet Davis, saying it was time for new leadership, announced Tuesday she will retire at the end of December.

Davis, who has been chief for nearly six years, has ushered the department through rough financial times. In 2007, Clovis police had 116 sworn officers, today the city is authorized for 98 after being as low as 96. The city's population is 100,000.

Davis, 53, rose through the ranks and was a police captain when she was promoted to the chief's post in 2008 to replace Jim Zulim. She said she has been a Clovis police officer for 26 years. Before coming to Clovis, she worked for the Fresno County Sheriff's Office for five years as a reserve and correctional officer.

Davis earns $13,143 per month, according to city of Clovis records.

City Manager Robert Woolley said Davis could have continued as chief for many more years. "Sometimes you know when the time comes and you know you've left things in a good place," he said.

Woolley said he plans to name a new chief before Davis retires.

Her replacement will come from within the department and be one of three captains: Matt Basgall, James Gentry or Vince Leonardo.

"They have done a good job at creating an excellent culture to serve the community," Woolley said.

Mayor Lynne Ashbeck said Davis mixed leadership with humility.

"Chief Davis raised the bar on the relationships our officers developed with our community," Ashbeck said. "The department is well-positioned for the future, thanks to her influence."

Davis worked to bring Marjaree Mason Center to Clovis and oversaw efforts to get a new pet adoption center in Clovis.

She credits her police officers and staff for making Clovis a safe city that trusts its police force.

"They can chase down a hardened criminal one minute and the next minute help children or the elderly," she said. "There is no length they won't go to keep the community safe."

She said she wanted to leave the Police Department in a positive place with future leaders ready to take the reins.

Davis said her departure is not related to her health and she intends to serve the community in another capacity.

"We will have to see what that is going to look like," she said.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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