Chico Police Department

Marc Albert

After five years at the helm and 28 on the force in Chico, Police Chief Michael O’Brien announced plans to retire effective June 5th. 


After 31 years in law enforcement, the vast majority at the department he would eventually lead, O’Brien said ultimately, it was input from his wife that set the wheels in motion.

Marc Albert

A proposal ordering nightly curfews in Chico should electricity be cut by Pacific Gas and Electric Company due to fire danger will undergo further study after receiving a chilly reception at a council meeting Tuesday night.  


After a combative reception from some members of the public, and only lukewarm support on the dais, Chico Mayor Randall Stone sent the emergency ordinance back to the drawing board.

Marc Albert

Stretched to the limit by a population that has surged by a third since November’s Camp Fire, Chico officials meeting Tuesday night discussed both short and longer term solutions.  


Addressing crime trends, Police Chief Mike O’Brien found little definitive correlation between the Camp Fire and crime, despite an increase of 30,000 residents during its immediate aftermath. O’Brien said the volume of calls received by 911 dispatchers is up, rising to a rate of about 75 calls an hour. 

Zaldy Img / Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities yesterday confirmed that a Chico man who died of an overdose during a house party three weeks ago had ingested a lethal amount of Fentanyl. 


Mental health crisis counselors hit the streets alongside police in Chico for the first time Tuesday under an agreement with county officials.

Proud of the program but tempering expectations, Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien said the teams aren’t a panacea. The teams won’t be available 24/7 nor are they a response to recent officer involved shootings O’Brien said.

A panel of local experts will delve into the challenges faced by the mentally ill and law enforcement tonight at a forum in Chico.

The discussion will likely showcase the pitfalls that can occur when the two groups cross paths.

Organized by Crisis Care Triage & Advocacy, panelists include the commander of the Butte County Jail, a social worker, a Chico City Councilwoman and advocates for inmates and those with mental illness.

The group hopes to build support for expanded support and resources within the criminal justice system specifically for the mentally ill.

YouTube screenshot

Chico police are circulating surveillance footage gathered 10 days ago showing a young white man slashing a tire on a delivery truck.

The incident occurred at 3:25 in the morning on Sept. 27. Police say the man, accompanied by two other young men, slashed tires on two trucks owned by Tahoe Pure Water. Damage was assessed at $1,000.

Four new officers were welcomed into the Chico Police Department Monday, as officials announced several new crime fighting initiatives.

The hiring comes as the department’s new chief, Mike O’Brien, acknowledged that his force has been less effective due to understaffing. He said it is time for the city to re-calibrate its approach to crime. It’s been lax.

Courtesy of J.D. Morgan

Updated 4:00 p.m.

“I need you to come out the front door of the house, Skip, with your hands up and empty. Skip, we are not going away. We need to talk.”

That’s Chico Police Officer Peter Durfee speaking through a megaphone earlier today. He was calling out to the final suspect from a robbery last night who had holed up in a house on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street. For now, we only know him as “Skip.”

He finally did come out. Police took him into custody right around 1 o’clock this afternoon.

Michael O’Brien, who has spent 23 years in a Chico Police Department uniform, was named the department’s new chief Thursday.

O’Brien, already a lieutenant, will succeed interim Chief Mike Dunbaugh June 5.

City manager Mark Orme praised O’Brien’s character, integrity and outlook. Orme predicted that O’Brien will garner the respect and trust of rank and file officers, elected officials, administrators and local citizens.