After 30 years of dedicated service to the Santa Rosa Police Department, Chief Rainer Navarro has announced his retirement to city officials. Chief Navarro’s effective retirement date is planned for May 2, 2022, allowing time for transition before his departure.
Chief Navarro has served as Police Chief since 2019 after being selected through a nationwide, comprehensive recruitment process. Chief Navarro led the department through unprecedented concurring declared emergencies, including a global pandemic, the Glass Fire, and civil unrest. Chief Navarro also directed efforts to enhance the department’s relationship with the community, including the formation of the Chief’s Community Ambassador Team (C-CAT), the implementation of the city’s Community Empowerment Plan, and the restoration of the police auditor role. Additionally, Chief Navarro was instrumental in creating the Department Operations Center (DOC) and Special Enforcement Team (SET) to address emergencies and violent crimes more quickly and efficiently.
“Chief Navarro has been a progressive and thoughtful leader for the Santa Rosa Police Department,” said City Manager Maraskeshia Smith. “He has been steadfast and compassionate through some of the most tumultuous times for policing. Chief Navarro has set the bar high in working with and engaging the community and has positioned the department to be more transparent and more accessible moving forward.”
Chief Navarro began his service with the Santa Rosa Police Department in 1992. As an officer, Chief Navarro was a Gang Crimes Detective, Violent Crimes Detective, and Field Training Officer. Later, Chief Navarro was promoted to different assignments including Field Training Sergeant, Gang Crimes Sergeant, and started the local Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, to Traffic and Special Events Lieutenant, and then Special Services and later Field Services Captain.
Santa Rosa Police Captain John Cregan has been appointed Interim Chief of Police to lead the department during the transitional period. The city will initiate a recruitment process immediately to begin a search for a new chief. This process is anticipated to take several months.