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UC Berkeley Police Chief Takes Calistoga Job

Calistoga's next police chief, Mitchell Celaya III, is expected to start his job in January after retiring as chief of the police force at the University of California, Berkeley.

Napa County's northernmost city will have a new police chief in January: Mitchell Celaya III, retiring chief of the police force at the University of California, Berkeley, will become Calistoga's chief in January, according to a report in the Daily Californian.

Celaya, 51, replaces acting chief Susan Jones, who is also vice mayor of Healdsburg. Jones started a six-month stint in Calistoga last May.

A 30-year veteran of the UC force, Celaya received a systemwide Meritorious Service Award in 1992 for his response to the attempted assassination of UC Berkeley chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, university officials said.

His tenure as chief has been "marked by controversy," said the Daily Californian, including his use of force in responding to campus activists protesting fee hikes in November, 2011.

Celaya told the student-operated newspaper that working in Calistoga "will give him the opportunity to develop community plans in a population that is not constantly in flux, like that of UC Berkeley," according to the article.

Calistoga has about 5,200 residents, according to U.S. Census figures. More than 49 percent are of Hispanic or Latino descent and 40 percent speak a home language other than English.

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