Morro Bay police chief is stepping down after 13 months on the job

Morro Bay police Chief Gregory Allen will step down from his position on Aug. 17, 2018.
Morro Bay police Chief Gregory Allen will step down from his position on Aug. 17, 2018. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Morro Bay police Chief Greg Allen will step down next month, after working for the city for a little more than a year, he announced Monday in a news release.

Allen was out of town on a pre-scheduled vacation Monday, according to city manager Scott Collins. Allen did not respond to a request for comment.

“I have enjoyed serving as the chief of police for this department and the community,” Allen wrote in a statement in the news release. “Together we accomplished some great and honorable achievements, especially in the betterment of communication between members of the community.

“I will always appreciate the teamwork that I experienced between the police department and its community.”

Collins said Monday that Allen and the city came to a “mutual agreement of separation” late last week, and added that Allen has not said whether he is retiring or what his next steps will be.

Officer Greg Gruitch, the president of the Morro Bay Police Officers Association, did not immediately return a request for comment Monday afternoon.

Allen was hired by Morro Bay in May 2017 and took over as police chief that June following a 34-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department. Allen began his career in Los Angeles as a beat officer and rose to the rank of captain; he commanded the patrol, detective and training divisions, as well as that department’s homicide unit.

Prior to joining the Morro Bay Police Department, Allen briefly served as police commander in Greenfield, a community of 16,000 in the Salinas Valley, and served as that department’s acting chief for about eight months.

Allen took over for former Morro Bay police Chief Amy Christey, who oversaw the department for nearly four years before taking over as chief of the police department in Pacific Grove.

After being hired in Morro Bay, Allen told The Tribune one of his goals was to improve communication between residents and police officers.

According to the city, Allen’s last day will be Aug. 17.

Police Cmdr. Jody Cox will be appointed to serve as acting police chief as the city begins a search for Allen’s permanent replacement.

Matt Fountain 781-7909, @mattfountain1
Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune