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Obama nominates Half Moon Bay cheif for U.S. Marshal job


Half Moon Bay Police Chief Don O’Keefe has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. Marshal for the northern district of California. O’Keefe, Half Moon Bay’s police chief for the past three years, must next face Senate confirmation before being sworn in.

Before taking over the Half Moon Bay Police Department in 2007, O’Keefe worked for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, where he reached the rank of captain. In 1999, he received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco. O’Keefe received a bachelor’s of science degree from the Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont in 1995.

O’Keefe’s name was forwarded to Obama for the position by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

The nomination comes just after Half Moon Bay was forced to reduce the police chief’s hours to part-time due to severe budget constraints.

His nomination is currently being considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee before the full Senate considers him for the post.

If confirmed, he will serve as U.S. Marshal for a four-year term. He is one of six U.S. Marshal nominees being considered for districts across the country.

O’Keefe, 54, praised his police department officers for enduring two difficult budget cycles in a city that has slashed from its budget significantly due to the downturn in the economy and a court-ordered settlement that strapped the city in a $30 million debt for the next 30 years.

“The community has been good to me. I’m especially proud of the officers. I will miss them and the community,” he said.

U.S. marshals lead agencies responsible for prisoner transport, capturing fugitives and protecting federal court buildings. If confirmed, O’Keefe would be based in San Francisco. The northern district covers the coastal areas from Monterey County to the Oregon border.