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.