The Coast News Group
Inside Oceanside

Inside Oceanside: Search for a new chief begins

It’s time for a new chief. Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy, the top cop who has overseen our force of 200 sworn officers since 2006, will step down as soon as his replacement can be named. 

Our new City Manager Steve Jepsen, who just came back to town after seven years as the city manager of Yuba City, will do the naming. He was our city manager from 2000 to 2006 and in fact hired McCoy just before he left for Yuba City.

To pick the new chief, Jepsen met with the “head hunter” firm Dec. 10, which was hired by the City Council to find quality candidates. Jepsen used a similar executive scouting firm to help him select McCoy, who had previously worked for the Long Beach police department.

Jepsen says he will rely on suggestions from the head hunter group as well as input from the community and OPD management to help him make his decision.

This could get interesting since two of the highest-ranking members of OPD management are in the running for chief.

Just under the rank of chief is captain. Insiders say two of our three OPD captains are throwing their hat in the ring.

They would be Tom Aguigui, a former Marine who has been with the OPD for 25 years and who now oversees investigations, and Oceanside born-and-raised Fred Armijo, who was once an Oceanside lifeguard and now oversees the OPD field operations. Armijo has been an Oceanside cop for 19 years.

Both Aguigui and Armijo have bachelors of science degrees.

Insiders say one of these two captains has the overwhelming support of the OPD rank and file.

Oceanside has had its share of colorful chiefs over the years. Oliver Lee Drummond from the late ‘80s thought the best way to bring our backwater police department into the modern era was with helicopters. His approach didn’t go over so well.

Then there was Rolf Henze from the late ‘70s who proudly displayed an actual photo of he and Adolph Hitler on his office wall. It showed young Rolf being presented a Boy Scout type award by Der Feurher.


Beach shorts

Longtimers will remember that this is the day that it snowed in Oceanside on Dec. 13, 1967. It didn’t stay on the ground but, dadgum, it definitely snowed here…

If you saw last week’s The Coast News, you saw that the Oceanside reporter Promise Yee actually covered what happened at the city council meeting of Dec. 4. It seems that our daily paper, the U-T, didn’t send a reporter to the Dec. 4 council meeting or to the meeting before.

Note to U-T publisher Doug Manchester: we get your message about your commitment to covering Oceanside news loud and clear!

South Oceanside residents love to get their healthy food from Cream of the Crop. But did you know that in past years, that building on Coast Highway (Hill Street) near Vista Way housed a bar called The Coral Reef and a strip joint called The Man Trap?

You hear about certain elected officials saying they are “pro business.” My wish for 2014 is that our new city manager does something that really would help the businesses in downtown Oceanside.

These business owners pay rent and sales tax even though they are enduring a drastic drop off in traffic due to the construction going on to make Seagaze and Mission one-way thoroughfares.

Once this one-way transformation is completed (some six months from now), there will be a few extra parking slots. But it won’t be enough.

I would implore our city administration to look into acquiring or leasing two important parking areas: the one at Freeman and Mission owned by St. Mary’s Catholic church, and the one privately owned on Seagaze and Nevada. Businesses need parking in order to survive! There is not enough parking to support downtown business…

Let it be known that our two local state legislators, State Senator Mark Wyland and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez were one of 12 California legislators (out of 120) to turn down a 5.3 percent increase in pay.

Both said they would return their pay increase to the state treasury.

But don’t cry for Rocky. He collects numerous pensions while he collects his pay for serving us in Sacramento.

Not saying he doesn’t deserve any of it. But dollars to donuts he will be reminding us of this charity as he runs for reelection.

Congratulations to fellow 1974 OHS grads Bill Marquis and Jane Cinciarelli who retire from the City of Oceanside this month after 30-plus years of service.

In case you thought our city is a big fat pension gusher, when you retire from the city you do not get paid health insurance.

You can keep your old insurance as long as you pay for it individually and as long as said insurance doesn’t reject you.


This goose won’t fly

Last week we introduced a collection of Oceanside “Jump the shark” moments, examples of where our fine seaside town may have endured a misstep or two.

I was happy to receive a number of other “Oceanside oops” moments from readers. Please keep sending them in.

Here’s one that I had forgotten about.

GETTING GOOSED — Former airline pilot Don Rodee served as Oceanside City Councilman from 2000-2004. His love of aviation led him to come up with this tourist-boosting idea: let’s buy the Spruce Goose, the largest flying boat in the world, park it downtown, and then watch the tourists flock to this Howard Hughes-built relic that only flew once (in 1947).

Luckily, its arrival in Oceanside didn’t fly at all. It stayed in Long Beach.

Oceanside born and raised, Ken Leighton is an Oceanside business owner. He may be reached at [email protected]


Mandy Barre December 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm

How hilarious? The man who was handpicked while FFKers got rid of the headhunters wants to use headhunter! Jeez, Jepsen,,what’s wrong with you and why did you take this job?

Promise Yee December 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Confirmation OPD captains Ray Bechler and Tom Aguigui are interested in applying for chief, more in Dec. 20 edition The Coast News.

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