Steve Watson is Holding Up

It came as a surprise when Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson — who has been with the Eureka Police Department for nearly 17 years, the last four of them as chief — announced late last month that he would be retiring at the end November.

Chief Watson will leave EPD in just a couple of days. But his “fire has not diminished.”

“While my fire has not diminished, it is time for me to take a restful step back and reflect with pride on a career well spent, even as I look forward with enthusiasm to the next adventure,” Watson wrote in his retirement announcement.

With only a couple of days left in his tenure, Watson was kind enough to join this week’s episode of Humboldt Holding Up — the Outpost‘s little podcast that could — for a sort of exit interview before he enters into the next chapter of his life. Topics discussed with Watson include:

  • The recent texting scandal and Watson’s feelings about the imminent investigation report
  • How the EPD and policing in Eureka was impacted by the pandemic
  • The current difficulties of hiring and retaining police officers
  • Evolving changes in attitudes and practices in policing and the “last gasp” of the old bastion
  • The difficulties of addressing the “tragic triad” of homelessness, mental illness and addiction, and why Watson supports augmenting police work with mental health crisis intervention specialists 
  • Watson’s proudest accomplishments and his appreciation for many people he’s worked with
  • More!

Click the audio player above (or subscribe on Apple Podcasts here) to listen to Watson’s farewell chat with the Outpost’s Stephanie McGeary and Andrew Goff and feel free to scroll through past guests below!