Chief Gonshak stepping down

Gonshak accepts job In Colorado as interim county manager

Seal Beach Police Chief Phil Gonshak, pictured above will be among the city officials participating in the Wednesday, April 7, virtual hate crimes presentation. The event was made necessary by a recent hate crime in Leisure World. Courtesy photo

After over 15  years of dedicated service to the  SBPD, Chief Philip L. Gonshak will  be  stepping down, having accepted a position of Interim County Manager for  Summit County, Colorado.  Chief Gonshak began his  career in public service almost 23  years ago with the  Tempe, Arizona, Police Department, and joined the  Seal Beach Police Department in 2007 in order to be  closer to his  wife’s family in Old  Town, Seal Beach.  His new job starts in November.

During his  time at the  Seal Beach Police Department, Chief Gonshak climbed the  ranks, serving as a Police Officer, Police Corporal, Police Sergeant, and Operations Bureau Commander, prior to being appointed to Chief of Police in 2019.

“The decision to leave my  career in law  enforcement is all about my  family and continuing on  into the  field of Public Administration Management,” said Chief Gonshak. “I am deeply saddened to leave such a wonderful community and organization. However, this  opportunity to serve Summit County, Colorado, will  bring my  family closer together as  one of our  daughters is currently attending Colorado University, Boulder. Further, this  will  provide me  with a new opportunity to lead in a field of which I am obsessed with, Public Administration. I am  so grateful to the  men and women of the Seal Beach Police Department whom I’ve had the  pleasure of serving with for  more than 15  years.  Moreover, I cannot thank the  Seal Beach City Council enough for  their support, and City Manager Jill  Ingram for  her  unwavering support, guidance, and mentorship throughout my  career.  As  difficult as  it is to leave Seal Beach, I know that the current Police Department Command Staff is more than prepared to take over leadership as I transition away from Seal Beach.  Lastly, I cannot thank the  entire Seal Beach community enough for  their confidence in what our  Police Department has accomplished together, specifically during the  most trying 3 years most of us have ever faced.  From the  bottom of my  heart, know that I am  eternally grateful to this  community, this  organization, and our  leaders, as they will  all  hold a special place in my heart.”

Gonshak is scheduled to start his  position as interim county manager on Nov. 21.  In the  coming weeks, he  will  continue to support City Manager, Jill Ingram, and work to ensure a smooth transition for  his  replacement.

“It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Phil, not  only as our  chief of police, but also as my friend,” said Seal Beach City Manager, Jill Ingram.  “Phil has been instrumental in leading the  Seal Beach Police Department though unprecedented challenges such as the  COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and nationwide calls for  police reform.  His  leadership, calm demeanor, and expertise helped spotlight the  positive work of the  Seal Beach Police Department, not  only as  innovators within Orange County, but  across the  State of California.  More importantly, the  culture of professionalism and dedication he  has fostered within the  ranks is evident based on  the overwhelming praise that our  Police Department receives from the  community every day.  I am  dedicated to ensuring this  culture continues and I am  confident that our  next Chief of Police will  be  promoted from within the  current Police Department Command Staff.  I wish Phil and his  family all the  best in their new home, and I cannot thank him enough for  the  service and sacrifices he  has made for  both this  community and the  Seal Beach Police Department.”

“I have had the  pleasure of knowing Chief Gonshak and his  family for  over 15  years,” said Seal Beach Mayor Joe Kalmick.  “I’ve known Phil both as a fellow Old  Town resident, as a police officer, and ultimately as the  Chief of Police.  Public safety is always a priority for  the  City Council, and Phil’s dedication and leadership to this community is second to none.  In my  discussions with other elected officials throughout Southern California, I have never known or heard of a more progressive and even keeled chief of police.  Although I am  sad to lose Phil to Colorado, I know that it is best for  his  family.  The current SBPD leadership are  consummate professionals and I know that Seal Beach will  be  in good hands moving forward.”

A process for Chief Gonshak’s replacement is currently  being constructed and city officials to have another press release detailing this  information soon. For  more information about the  Seal Beach Police Department, follow them on  social media @sealbeachpolice.