Humboldt Holding Up
"It came as a surprise when Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson — who has been with the Eureka Police Department for nearly 17 years, the last four of them as chief — announced late last month that he would be retiring at the end November.
“While my fire has not diminished, it is time for me to take a restful step back and reflect with pride on a career well spent, even as I look forward with enthusiasm to the next adventure,” Watson wrote in his retirement announcement.
With only a couple of days left in his tenure, Watson was kind enough to join this week’s episode of Humboldt Holding Up — the Outpost‘s little podcast that could — for a sort of exit interview before he enters into the next chapter of his life. Topics discussed with Watson include:
- The recent texting scandal and Watson’s feelings about the imminent investigation report
- How the EPD and policing in Eureka was impacted by the pandemic
- The current difficulties of hiring and retaining police officers
- Evolving changes in attitudes and practices in policing and the “last gasp” of the old bastion
- The difficulties of addressing the “tragic triad” of homelessness, mental illness and addiction, and why Watson supports augmenting police work with mental health crisis intervention specialists
- Watson’s proudest accomplishments and his appreciation for many people he’s worked with