Police Chief Rick Emerson is retiring effective May 26, 2009. Chief Emerson was hired by the City of Chula Vista in 1992 following a long and successful career with the Pasadena Police Department in Los Angeles County.
As the CVPD’s top administrator, Chief Emerson, 58 years of age, has guided the department through years of growth and challenges. When he started, the population of Chula Vista was 135,000 and the department had 150 sworn officers. Today the population is 231,000 and CVPD has 244 sworn officers, down 16 from a peak of 260. Under Chief Emerson’s leadership the department is one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the entire region.
“This was not an easy decision because I still enjoy coming to work every day, said Chief Emerson. “But the timing is right for me. We have a very well regarded organization and I am very proud of all of the people in the Department who continue to provide our community with quality public safety services, even during these difficult fiscal times.”
In addition to his duties as Police Chief, Emerson has been the President of the San Diego County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association for the past 14 years, a platform he used to promote shared regional protocols.
Under Chief Emerson the department has achieved many milestones including:
- Expansion of the department to meet the growth of the city
- Achieved a 94% approval rating for the department in recent resident surveys
- Lead the way in establishing regional participation in policing protocols and projects
- Secured over $41 million in grant funds since 1995 to supplement police operations
- Promoted fiscal responsibility by leading the lowest cost-per-capita Police Department in the County of San Diego
- Oversight of design and construction of a state-of-the-art police facility and city jail
- Construction of the first Police Officers Memorial in the County representing every law enforcement agency
- Implemented two, five year strategic business plans
- Established Department crime and disorder solving analysts
- Established highly successful School Resource Officer program and partnership with the Chula Vista Elementary School District and the Sweetwater Union High School District
- Established Cold Case Unit
- Established Domestic Violence Response Team
- Instrumental in establishing Citizens Adversity Support Team
- Established Community Relations Unit
- Established departments first dedicated Public Information Officer position
- Established traffic enforcement and education programs
- Established Senior Volunteer Program
- Established Mobile Field Force
- Established Psychiatric Evaluation Response Team
- Established Special Investigations Unit
- Over 57% decrease in crime during his tenure
Currently there is a nationwide search underway with position requirements posted on the city web page (https://www.chulavistaca.gov) and in professional publications. Chula Vista city officials say they hope to have a successor named by the end of summer. Until then, Emerson will remain as Police Chief to help stabilize the transition of leadership within the Department. “I will continue to look forward to coming to 315 4th Ave and working with a great group of professionals,” said Chief Emerson.
Police Public Information Office