The City of Santa Rosa has selected Rainer Navarro as the next Chief of the Santa Rosa Police Department following a nationwide and extensive recruitment.
Navarro has served his entire 27-year law enforcement career with the Santa Rosa Police Department – including the last four years as Captain – and has gained experience through the organization in the areas of gangs, traffic, and quality of life issues that impact the City.
Navarro has extensive experience in collaborative work with the local community and partner governmental agencies on issues such as gangs, homelessness, and youth violence. He was a leader in the development of the Homeless Outreach Services Team and the transition of police services during the Roseland annexation. He also implemented the Gang Assistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, a youth life-skills program in three local school districts.
“Ray has dedicated nearly three decades of service to the Santa Rosa community and has been instrumental in moving the department’s strategic plan forward in his role as a Captain,” said City Manager Sean McGlynn. “Through a highly competitive process involving a diverse array of interview panelists including educators, public safety professionals, and leaders from local businesses and community organizations, Ray rose to the top based on his public safety experience, leadership within the Department and City, and demonstrated ability to forge strong ties with local community groups and organizations surrounding complex social issues.”
During the onset of October 2017 wildfires, Navarro served a critical function of the management section in the City’s Emergency Operations Center and later transitioned to ensuring ongoing Department operations while the current Chief continued to manage emergency efforts for several more weeks. Navarro was also a member of the local wildfire recovery team responsible for coordinating with local, state, and federal partner agencies on the complex and unprecedented cleanup.
“I am deeply grateful and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Chief of Police for the Santa Rosa Police Department,” said Captain Navarro. “It is a privilege to represent the City where I have lived, worked, and served for the last nearly 30 years and for an organization that stresses excellence and integrity in every aspect of service to our community.”
Active in community service, Navarro has served on several boards including his church, the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Continuum of Care, and Social Advocates for Youth. He is currently on the Board of Directors for CHOPS Teen Club in Santa Rosa and has mentored both youth and adults.
Navarro officially begins his role as Chief on August 1, 2019 and will be conducting a series of community listening sessions over the next several months to gain additional understanding of the community’s expectations of the Police Department, which will help to inform future goals of the organization.
“I am committed to strengthening relationships through our community-oriented policing, increasing trust through transparency and education, recruiting, retaining, and developing professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to reflect our community, and collaborating with the public on current and future issues,” said Captain Navarro.
Prior to being hired by the City, Navarro served in the United States Navy. He attended both the Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. He is also a graduate of the Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Command College. Navarro is married to his wife Diedre, and they have two adult children.