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City of Menifee 

Menifee City Manager announces appointment of city's first police chief


Last updated 3/28/2019 at 12:51pm

City of Menifee

Former Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh has been appointed the City of Menifee's first-ever Chief of Police.

MENIFEE - Menifee City Manager Armando G. Villa has announced the appointment of former Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh, as the city's first Chief of Police. Chief Walsh was selected from a competitive pool of 49 applicants spanning from nine states and two foreign countries.

Chief Walsh rose to the top following an intense six-week selection process that included interviews with regional public safety leaders, community members, executive city staff and the city manager.

"We are very confident we found the ideal leader for the new Menifee Police Department," Villa said. "Chief Walsh has an outstanding reputation, an impressive track record, and sets the bar high for Menifee's Police Department.

"As a visionary leader, he is an experienced team builder and expert communicator who acts with the highest level of respect, fairness and compassion. In addition, Chief Walsh possesses the desired attributes and characteristics of a police chief identified by the community members in a workshop in January. He is the best fit for the needs of the Menifee community and our new Police Department."

"Working together with Menifee's executive team, the City Council, and Menifee's growing community, we will create a safe, respectful and inclusive culture where people come first," said Chief Pat Walsh. "There is a lot of work to be done with starting a new police department, and I am very excited, and humbled, to be appointed as the inaugural Police Chief and can't wait to get


"I appreciate the confidence by the City of Menifee community and leadership team, and look forward to showcasing Menifee City Council's commitment to its residents and businesses that public safety is Menifee's highest priority."

Chief Walsh is a decorated 35-year law enforcement leader. A graduate of the prestigious United States Naval Postgraduate School – Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Walsh is widely known in the law enforcement community as an innovative reformer, passionate about training and accountability.

He began his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff in Los Angeles County in 1984. He transferred to the Portland Police Bureau (OR) in 1992 and served the City of Portland, Oregon for 22 years. As an officer in Portland, Walsh worked for many years as an undercover narcotics investigator assigned to a Federal Drug Interdiction Task Force. During that time he received a Chief's commendation for his work in dismantling a multi-state drug distribution ring. Walsh later returned to the Narcotics and Vice Unit as a sergeant, supervising several teams of federal and local agents.

Over the course of his tenure with the Portland Police Bureau, Chief Walsh served in a variety of assignments and ranks. Most notably, he was selected to lead the Office of Accountability and Professional Standards tasked with assessing officer use of force and discipline and creating and implementing "best practices" related to officer conduct and performance.

As a Police Captain, Walsh was responsible for as many as 400 police personnel. In his final assignment in Portland, Walsh commanded the Tactical Operations Division consisting of the city's Gang Enforcement Teams, Gun Task Force, SWAT, Crisis Negotiations Team and the Air Support Unit. He was also a founding member of the Portland Police Innovation Council working to identify innovative and creative ways to engage the community, and better use police resources to enhance community trust.

In 2014, Chief Walsh was recruited to return to the Central Coast of California, where he was raised. Walsh was sworn in as the City of Lompoc's 11th police chief on September 15, 2014.

During his 4 1⁄2 year tenure as Lompoc's Police Chief, Walsh implemented a number of reforms aimed at professionalizing the department, improving its relationship with the community, and bolstering officer morale, integrity and ethics. He was very involved in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara United Boys and Girls Club as well as the Lompoc Food Pantry. Chief Walsh was selected to represent all municipal police chiefs in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties on the California Police Chiefs' Association Board of Directors.

After Chief Walsh announced his plans to leave the Lompoc Police Department in January, City Manager Jim Throop said, "Chief Pat Walsh has done an outstanding job leading the Lompoc Police Department. He exemplifies community policing at its finest, and can always be found out in the neighborhoods, getting to know those his department serves and protects. Chief Walsh is well-loved in Lompoc, and his departure will leave a hole in the heart of the Lompoc Valley. We are grateful for Chief Walsh's time with our city."

Chief Walsh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University in Management, Communication and Leadership, and a Master of Science Degree from the prestigious United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. His thesis was titled: "How to build trust and legitimacy between the community and the police."

Chief Walsh will officially join the City of Menifee executive team on April 2. He will be sworn in as Menifee's first Police Chief once the state-mandated peace officer clearance process is complete.

Chief Walsh and his wife of 34 years, Catherine, plan to make their home in Menifee.

The public is invited to a Meet & Greet Reception introducing Chief Walsh to the community at 5:30 p.m. April 2 at Menifee City Hall located at 29844 Haun Road. No RSVP's required.

For more information about the reception, please contact City Hall at (951) 672-6777 or email [email protected]


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