MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA) — Manhattan Beach City Manager Bruce Moe announced Friday that fire Chief Daryn Drum had been relieved of his duties at the fire department over recent comments.
“This week, during a meeting of regional public safety officials, Chief Drum used the analogy of ‘not taking our foot off their throat’ a number of times when referring to negotiations with an external vendor,” a statement from the city said.
An excerpt from that meeting was made available online.
The statement also said Drum made comments on a local podcast regarding police interactions and civil unrest.
“You’re one good shooting away from civil unrest,” Drum said in response to a question about how the fire department prepares for protests and civil unrest. “And now, it’s changed to you’re one violent interaction — and the officer oftentimes doesn’t control over the level of violence that comes with that interaction, the person that they’re in contact with is really the one in control.
“If you comply, there’s no violence,” he continued. “If you respond with violence, the officer has no choice.”
“We need thoughtful leaders offering voices that are open and inclusive,” Moe said. “Chief Drum’s recent comments do not reflect our core values as a City, and an immediate change of Fire Department leadership is in the community’s best interests.”
It was also announced that police Chief Derrick Abell would temporarily serve as acting fire chief, in addition to his present duties, as he did prior to Drum’s hiring in April 2019.
Drum could not immediately be reached for comment.