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“Hate to see you go. We will miss you.” were
City Manager, Edmund F. Sotelo’s words to Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez in reaction to the Chief’s retirement announcement at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The Chief’s departure is seen as a great loss to the City. Under Lopez's leadership, the police department enjoyed many significant accomplishments. During his six years as chief, Oxnard’s crime rate dropped by more than 25% and the department hired a significant number of minorities and women.

The Oxnard Police Department has become a model for the county with the Mobile Field Force and Arrest and Control training along with its development of a supervisor's tactical guide and citywide tactical standing plans which were implemented under Chief Lopez’ tenure.

Chief Lopez placed great emphasis on working with the youth of Oxnard. He dedicated personnel and resources to the gang violence suppression program, putting officers in schools, participating in the creation of a youth academy for high school age kids and providing a real focus on prevention, intervention and enforcement.

Under Lopez’ leadership, the Police Department has taken Community Policing to the next level by genuinely embracing our community and showing that they care. To this end the Chief's Community Council, the Clergy Council and the Community Police Advisory Boards were instituted at his direction.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), a program designed to train police personnel on the best way to deal with the mentally ill and individuals on crisis was initiated during the Chief’s six years in office.

Through his efforts to institute activities such as the Employee Recognition Luncheon, and the Swearing in Ceremony and celebrating a Memorial Ceremony, customs that build a sense of esprit-de-corps and pride in the organization have had a positive impact in the rank and file of the Police Department.

Chief Lopez expressed pride for having a significant role in the development and implementation of the civil gang injunction, which was issued on a preliminary basis in June 2004. Gang related crime dropped significantly as a result of the injunction being in place. Lopez leaves a safer City of Oxnard.
After 28 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Lopez left his position of Deputy Chief at LAPD to become the Chief of Police with Oxnard’s Police Department.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Oxnard and feel we made great strides in our efforts to bring safety and security to our residents" said the Chief.

Lopez, 54, has served as the Chief of Police since November 1998 and will remain in his post until February 4, 2005. After that he and his wife Betty will be dividing their time between their homes in Oxnard and Northridge. The Chief plans to do some work in the private sector upon his retirement.

After February 4, 2005,
City Manager, Edmund F. Sotelo, will appoint Assistant Police Chief John Crombach as interim Chief of Police.







Christina Aerenlund, Public Information Officer

300 West Third Street, Fourth Floor ? Oxnard, California 93030

(805) 385-7593         

CONTACT:      Edmund F. Sotelo

                         City Manager




Date: 13/01/2005





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