The City of Santa Cruz is a seaside community located 75 miles south of San Francisco and adjacent to the Monterey Bay, with a population of 64,632. The Police Chief will be an active member of the City Manager’s management team. The successful candidate must possess a Bachelor’s degree with major course work in criminal justice, police science, public administration, or a related field and have ten years of recent, progressively responsible municipal police service experience, including five years at the command level. Current or prior California law enforcement experience is highly desirable. A master’s degree is preferred. The salary for the Police Chief position is $158,900 to $202,860 annually, depending upon experience and qualifications.
Santa Cruz is located in one of the most beautiful areas in California on the sunny, northern side of the Monterey Bay, 70 miles south of San Francisco and 30 miles southwest of San Jose. Situated between magnificent redwood-forested mountains and the white-capped splendor of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Cruz is one of California’s most popular seaside resorts, with twenty-nine miles of beaches and the historic Beach Boardwalk seaside amusement park. The mild Mediterranean climate invites all to enjoy the numerous forest and mountain trails, spectacular ocean vistas, and rich and varied marine life. Recreational facilities in Santa Cruz include seventeen state parks and beaches, five golf courses, and a small craft harbor. As the gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Cruz offers a full range of activities for water sports enthusiasts, including kayaking, sailing, ocean fishing, and surfing.
Santa Cruz has numerous art galleries and a thriving music scene. A wide variety of outstanding cultural and special events are offered year-round, including Santa Cruz Shakespeare, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the “Woodies on the Wharf” vintage car parade, the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, and many exciting national surfing competitions. Area museums include the Museum of Art and History, the Museum of Natural History, and the Surfing Museum. We are home to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
The City’s population is approximately 63,000; however, the City of Santa Cruz serves a larger population as the regional center and county seat of Santa Cruz County, and as a major tourist destination. Downtown neighborhoods are a living historical treasure, with a significant number of Victorian homes and turn-of-the-century buildings. The downtown business district is a vibrant commercial and entertainment hub. Santa Cruz is a diverse community composed of different ethnicities, races, socioeconomic backgrounds and life experiences.
Santa Cruz possesses a flourishing and diverse local economy based on tourism, retail, agriculture, services, and the high-tech industry. Pacific Avenue, located in the City’s downtown, is home to branch offices of several high-tech companies. Santa Cruz provides a unique environment full of opportunity. Institutions of higher learning include the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College, and Five Branches University.
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to learn more about this interesting and exciting community. For a tour of Santa Cruz County visit:
The Santa Cruz Police Department is dedicated and proud to serve the residents of and visitors to the City. A team of 119 employees (94 budgeted sworn officers and 25 civilian staff), serve the population. Members of the Department work diligently to meet the unique challenges of public safety in a city that play host to a large tourist population, special events, and seasonal attractions.
The Department is divided into two distinct divisions: Operations and Administration. The Operations Division consists of the Patrol Section, Traffic, Community Services, Parks, Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Downtown, Alcohol Enforcement, Training, School Resource Officer Program, K9, and Emergency Services. The Administration Division consists of the Professional Standards, Payroll and Purchasing, Recruitment, Crime Analysis, Community Relations, Investigations, Property Evidence, Records, and the Administrative Support Services Team. With a finite amount of resources, the City is divided into five patrol beats: West, East, Beach, Central, and Downtown. The beats are designed to maximize coverage and provide efficient response to calls for service.
The Department operates on an approximately $25 million budget which is 29% of the City’s General Fund. The Department is extremely active, responding to nearly 100,000 calls for service last year.
The Police Chief is responsible for leading the City’s police force, providing effective police services and law enforcement programs to over 63,000 residents. The Police Chief takes an assertive posture in addressing crime problems and issues related to the delivery of services in a dynamic, diverse and active community.
The new Police Chief will have a strong and proven track record in law enforcement and have the ability to take a fresh look at the Department’s operations, philosophy, and direction. The successful candidate will practice inclusive community policing and demonstrate a commitment to continually work with residents and businesses to understand and respond to the needs of the diverse Santa Cruz community.
The City is seeking a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial, experienced Police Chief who can help lead the organization toward its impressive potential. The ideal candidate will have considerable knowledge of the principles of police administration and the ability to apply these principles, techniques, and methods to field operations and administration of the Department.
Adaptable and engaged with evolving best practices in policing and community building, the new Chief must have the ability to apply supervisory techniques to organize and maintain effective departmental programs and operations. The new Chief will be expected to cultivate and maintain effective partnerships with the community, city staff, and other law enforcement agencies to respond to emerging needs. The City is seeking a skilled professional with excellent oral and written communication skills and a collaborative, problem-solving approach to be an active member of the City’s executive team.
The ideal candidate will be an honest, consistent, firm but fair decision maker and a champion of integrity and ethics for the Department, promoting transparency and active community engagement at all levels of the organization. He or she must be able to earn the trust and respect of the Police Department staff and demonstrate the willingness to recognize and reward good performance. The ability to lead by example and hold staff accountable while treating employees with dignity and respect is essential to success. The new Chief will be expected to provide opportunities for sworn and civilian staff to grow through professional development and training. A candidate that has dealt successfully with recruitment and retention issues will be valued.
The incoming Chief will be a strong analytical and conceptual thinker; a candidate with a commitment to knowledge of the principles, techniques, and practices of community policing, intergovernmental relations, public relations, and of the regional political environment. The City’s next Police Chief will be approachable, collaborative, open, and dedicated to creating a teamwork environment in which all ideas and feedback are valued and supported. The City is seeking someone with excellent diplomacy, presentation, customer service, and relationship-building skills who is politically astute, but apolitical.
Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree in police science, criminology, criminal justice, public administration, or a related field and have ten (10) years of progressively responsible police work as a certified law enforcement officer, five (5) or which should be at the command level. A Master’s degree and completion of Command College or FBI National Academy are highly desired. Possession of or eligibility for California POST Management Certificate is required. All candidates must be current in California POST mandated training for the position.
The annual salary range for the Police Chief is $158,964 to $202,860; placement within this range is dependent upon qualifications. In addition, the City of Santa Cruz offers the following benefits:
Retirement PERS Classic Member 3% at 55 plan. Employees contribute 14% of their salary to PERS on a pre-tax basis. New to CalPERS: 2.7% @ 57 with employees paying 50% total normal cost. An employee is vested after 5 years of membership. No Social Security is withheld.
Insurance PERS family medical plan from $100 - $366/month for most popular plans, no cost family dental and vision plan, and an employee assistance program are all available to the employee. Employees also receive long-term disability and a $25,000 basic life insurance policy.
Vacation and Other Leave 80 hours of vacation per year for up to 5 years of service; 120 hours of vacation per year for 5 –10 years of service; 120 hours of vacation per year plus 8 hours for each year of service after 10 years to a maximum of 160 hours. Eight hours of sick leave is accrued per month, and the City has a sick leave incentive program. Eleven paid holidays and 24 hours of floating holidays per year.
Management Leave 80 hours of additional vacation per year is awarded, 20 of which may be converted to cash.
Management Benefit $1,300 for employees with less than 10 years of service and $1,500 per year for employees with more than 10 years of service for purchase of additional vacation, placement in a deferred compensation account, or cash payment.
Deferred compensation program.
Vehicle Allowance $107 per month, or a vehicle.
Tuition reimbursement $500 per year.
Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. The most qualified candidates will be invited to personal interviews with Bob Murray & Associates. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval. Finalist interviews will be held with the City of Santa Cruz. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following selection of the Police Chief.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Regan Williams at: (916) 784-9080