Interim Santa Rosa police chief to resign

Tom Simms, Santa Rosa?s interim police chief, will turn in his badge today, 20 weeks before his one-year contract expires.

Simms, 62, said he is undergoing treatment for heart disease.

?It was a wake-up call for me,? Simms said of his illness and brief hospitalization this year. ?My health is the important thing and my three beautiful granddaughters.?

City Manager Jeff Kolin said Capt. Tom Schwedhelm has been appointed acting chief and will lead the department at least through Aug. 1.

Schwedhelm has taken the department?s reigns before: He served as acting chief between Simms and Chief Ed Flint, who resigned abruptly last July.

Schwedhelm also is among the candidates being considered to take the job permanently, Kolin said.

Simms signed a one-year contract with the city, to end Aug1. But shortly after starting the job he learned he had heart disease, Simms said.

He decided to resign late last week on the advice of his cardiologist.

While on the job, he worked to reunite a department his predecessor had called ?dysfunctional.? In a September interview, he said his focus was on communicating with employees and managers through formal and informal channels.

Simms came out of retirement to take the job with Santa Rosa police when Flint left the post.

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