By JULIE JOHNSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A former Sonoma County police chief will emerge from retirement to run the Santa Rosa Junior College police department on an interim basis, college officials said Monday.
Joe Palla was chief of the Healdsburg Police Department from 1983 to 1994 and briefly ran the Cloverdale force in 2004. Palla, 61, has served on the Cloverdale City Council since 2007 and was re-elected in November to a second term.
President Robert Agrella said the decision to hire Palla was “an easy one because of his many years being a chief of police and his familiarity with the junior college.”
Palla served on the college’s board of trustees from 1992 to 1994 and again from 2004 until 2006.
Former SRJC police chief Christopher Wilkinson resigned Feb. 13 after six months on the job. In a resignation email sent to Agrella, Wilkinson said that he “encountered (resistance) to change.”
Palla will serve as a special assistant to Doug Roberts, the vice president of business services who oversees the department, until college officials finalize the paperwork to bring him on as interim chief, Agrella said.
“We’re fortunate he agreed to do it,” Agrella said.