More detail on Chief Chapman’s departure

Mad River Union

ARCATA – In response to media queries, Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer this afternoon released the following information on the sudden resignation of Police Chief Tom Chapman. Also released was his resignation letter.


News Media –

Due to the volume of calls and many pending deadlines -  I have compiled the following list in an effort to answer questions that have been raised collectively.

What can you share about why Chief Chapman resigned?

The Chiefs decision does not stem from any one single thing.  It is a combination of personal reasons and professional judgement on what he believes is best for the Department and himself. He has served for over 24 years.

We have also heard that Tom Parker has stepped away from an active role in the David Josiah Lawson Investigation. Are those two actions related and will efforts might be made to retain Parker?

Tom Chapman

Chief Chapman was unware of Tom Parker’s final decision to step away from his current role in the investigation when he made his decision to resign.

Tom Parker has agreed to be available by phone for continued consultation on the investigation.

Did either Tom Chapman or Tom Parker submit a formal letter of resignation?

Chief Chapman’s letter of resignation is attached.

In the interim, who is currently acting chief?

The City will provide an update on an Interim Chief by next week. This week our Lieutenants will be trading off as Acting Chief as is common when the Chief is away from the Office.

Has David Josiah Lawson's family filed a claim or lawsuit against the city?

The City has not received any claims or lawsuits filed by members or representatives of the Lawson’s family.

What does this mean for the David Josiah Lawson Investigation?

The investigative team for the David Josiah Lawson case is solidified with members of both the Arcata Police Department and District Attorney Investigators Office.  This team will stay in place and focused on the case through its completion.

I hope this helps answer the questions that you have.

-          Karen

Karen Diemer, City Manager

City of Arcata




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