Palm Springs Names Acting Police Chief

Nico Payne

The Palm Springs Police department has announced the first female to take the role of acting police chief as they continue to look for someone to fill the position permanently.

This comes as Chief Bryan Reyes who is retiring this month after 27 years of service. NBC Palm Springs caught up with the new acting chief for an introduction.

“It’s my honor to represent men and women here at the police department while that recruitment process is ongoing,” said Captain Melissa Desmarais, with the Palm Springs Police Department.

Captain Melissa Desmarais will take on her temporary new role as acting chief of Palm Springs police starting Thursday, and she is no stranger when it comes to being the first female to fill positions of this caliber.

She was also the first woman to be named sergeant on the force back in 2010, and she hopes to continue to inspire women interested in joining law enforcement.

“I would tell them, this is a unique and challenging, but an outstanding and rewarding career,” added Desmarais.

And when asked of the possibility of Captain Desmarais filling the position permanently, she had this to say.

“You know what, I did not apply for this position for the permanent position. right now for the meantime, but I won’t say never, never say never, so just not at this point,” explained Desmarais.

As the department continues to look for a permanent replacement, the soon-to-be acting chief is well aware of growing issues in the city like homelessness.

“We have an ongoing plan to address it, it’s continuous. We have an entire team of folks that address issues that are related to the homelessness and they go and try and build rapport with them and offer services to them, but I do know that is a continuous concern to the community,” said Desmarais.

And before transitioning into her new role, a final farewell to Chief Bryan Reyes who served on the Palm Springs Police Department for 27 years.

“I’d just like to say thank you to him for all of his service, to law enforcement, and particularly to the city of Palm Springs. It’s a very demanding job to be the chief of police, and just law enforcement, in general, is a demanding job, so wish him the very best in all of his future endeavors, whatever those include,” added Desmarais.

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