The City of Santa Paula is excited to introduce Santa Paulans to the City’s new Police Chief, Travis Walker. Chief Walker will start his new role with the City on February 1st, having more than 20 years of law enforcement experience and spending much of that time in various roles in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
When the City of Santa Paula’s long-time Police Chief resigned in November 2019, previously retired Assistant Chief Ismael Cordero took the helm as Interim Chief while the City began a widespread search for a new Chief. The City embarked on a thoughtful, thorough and multi-step recruitment process to find a candidate who could serve as a public safety visionary for the community and lead the advancement of the Santa Paula Police Department.
This intensive search included thorough and independent background investigation and multiple rounds of interviews to ensure the selected candidate is a good fit for both the Santa Paula Police Department and the community. Initial interviews were conducted by a panel of three Police Chiefs from neighboring cities, followed by interviews with members of the Santa Paula Police Department, the City’s management team, the City Council, the City Manager and a community panel chosen by the City Council.
“As this recruitment process progressed, it was apparent that we had several well-qualified and experienced finalists who appeared capable of performing this all-important job, making this a very challenging decision,” said Dan Singer, Santa Paula City Manager. “However, we are thrilled to welcome Chief Walker into the Santa Paula family and look forward to leveraging his experience and insights from other communities to further elevate and modernize the City’s community-centric approach to policing.”
“As we look to the future, I am confident that the community will be well served by Chief Walker and the progress he will bring to the Santa Paula Police Department,” said Santa Paula Mayor Carlos Juarez. “On behalf of the entire community, I extend gratitude to Interim Chief Cordero, whom I had the pleasure of serving with throughout my tenure with the Police Department, for coming out of retirement and leading our public safety operations as interim chief for the Santa Paula community while this search took place.”
Chief Walker joined the noble profession of law enforcement in January of 1997, as a police officer for the San Bernardino Police Department. Over the course of 20 years he gained extensive policing experience working a variety of assignments to include Patrol, Problem/Community Oriented Policing, Gangs, Narcotics, K9, Specialized Enforcement Bureau and various Detective assignments investigating a wide-variety of crime ranging from property crimes to complex gang-related homicides, and led the department’s tactical response to the dreaded terror attack that occurred in San Bernardino in December 2015. He left the San Bernardino Police Department to join the Cathedral City Police Department, where he spent three years serving as their Deputy Chief of Police and Chief of Police. During his tenure as Chief, he implemented a variety of innovative policing programs that helped reduce major crime in the community by 14.3%, enhanced organizational effectiveness and efficiency and strengthened the relationship between the department and the community.
“I am humbled to be given this opportunity and am eager to hit the ground running and start working alongside the Santa Paula community and my fellow peace officers. Serving a community as chief is a huge honor and responsibility. While I have much more to learn about Santa Paula, this recruitment process has introduced me to wonderful residents, professional officers and staff at the city and department, and the public safety community in Ventura County that I am excited to be joining,” said Chief Walker. “My wife of 20 years is equally excited to settle in and call Santa Paula home, where she will also continue her role in public service as an intensive care nurse.”