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UC Davis police chief says she will retire; 'this chapter of my life must be closed'

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

File: In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

The police chief who oversaw the UC Davis Police Department during the November incident in which peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed said today that she is retiring. 

Annette Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee today in an email statement that she does not want the incident to define her or the university and so she is stepping down "in order to start the healing process."

"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this. As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike as well as another officer involved in the incident have been on paid administrative leave.

Last week a UC Davis task force led by retired California Supreme Court justice Cruz Reynoso issued a report that blamed the incident on a breakdown in communication and leadership plus a lack of proper protocols. The report recommended a full review of the UC Davis Police Department. 

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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