After 28 years in law enforcement, Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer announced Tuesday that he will leave his career in public safety for a high-ranking job at Security Industry Specialists (SIS), a company that provides security services to Google and other high-tech firms in Mountain View.
Vermeer began his career in 1986 at the Redwood City Police Department, where he rose to the rank of captain. He took a position as chief of police for Menlo Park and stayed there for three years before taking over leadership of the Mountain View Police Department in January 2002.
At 15 years, Vermeer spent a long time as chief of police, in part because he was very young when he was first hired as chief of Menlo Park. He said a lot of people reach the rank of police chief at a much older age, and consequently don't stick around for long. At 34 years old, he was the youngest police chief in the state.
But Vermeer said those years blew by quickly for him.
"I wanted to be a police officer when I was a kid, and I got my dream," Vermeer said.
During his time as police chief in Mountain View, Vermeer said he saw a lot of changes in the community. He said the city is definitely safer now with some of the lowest recorded crime rates in the history of Mountain View and that the police department has worked with the community to create a walk- and bike-friendly city.
Vermeer said the police department has a great leadership team, and he is both hopeful and confident in the city manager's choice for next chief of police.
Vermeer is leaving to become director at SIS, a private security contractor with clients that include Google in Mountain View. He said he'll continue to live in the Bay Area, but may not do a lot of work in Mountain View.
Vermeer's last day with the MVPD is Aug. 3. The department will have a going-away party for Vermeer on July 17. He said it will be a casual event for everyone to attend.