DAVID VALENTIN, CHIEF OF POLICE
David Valentin joined the Santa Ana Police Department in 1990 and has worked his way through the ranks from police officer to Chief of Police. Chief Valentin is the 21st Chief of the Santa Ana Police Department and the first to be raised in the City. In a competitive selection process, Chief Valentin was appointed Acting Chief of Police on June 20, 2017 and unanimously confirmed by the City Council as the permanent Police Chief on February 20, 2018. Chief Valentin has worked all major areas of the Police Department, with over 17 years of substantive Command Level experience, including Senior Management Command as Deputy Chief of Police in all Bureaus (Administrative, Field Operations and Investigations) of the Department. Chief Valentin also served as Commanding Officer of the Department’s Special Weapons & Tactics Team (SWAT). For nearly five years (2009-2013), he served as the Chief of Police for the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Police Department, the 3rd largest K-12 P.O.S.T. police agency in California, where he received local, regional and national recognition for his leadership and organizational transformation of the Department. Chief Valentin also served on the Executive Cabinet of the SAUSD Administration.
Chief Valentin holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Human Resources, from the California State University, Fullerton. In 2008, Chief Valentin was inducted into the Santa Ana College Alumni Hall of Fame. He is also a recipient of the California League of Community Colleges Hall of Fame for his significant achievements and sustained community engagement in both Santa Ana and the region. Chief Valentin served eight years (2007-2014) on the Board of Directors for the Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club -- a club he once attended as a young boy growing up in central Santa Ana -- and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Ana College Foundation (2014-present), which provides broad based student support for higher education. An active member of both the International Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the California Police Chiefs Associations, Chief Valentin has served on the California Police Chiefs Association Legislative Committee and was selected to the IACP Victim & Civil Rights Committee in 2016 (term 2016-2020).
Chief Valentin is a graduate of both the FBI National Academy (2006) and the California POST Command College (2010). Chief Valentin has served as a trainer at the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy Advanced Officer Training Program and as a consultant --locally, nationally and internationally -- to the countries of Mexico and El Salvador, in the focus areas of: Community Oriented Policing, cultural diversity, leadership and executive position recruitment/selection in the law enforcement and public education industries. While serving as Chief of Police for SAUSD, Chief Valentin was also the recipient of the Orange County Human Relations Commission 2012 Community Oriented Policing Award. In 2013, Chief Valentin received the Award of Merit for Leadership by the California College and University Police Chiefs Association. In 2014, Chief Valentin led the effort as Program Administrator to initiate and implement the newly-formed Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task Force, a regional best practice to address over 1,000 unsolved murder cases in Orange County. Chief Valentin was voted one of “Orange County’s 2018 Most Influential” individuals for his community service and demonstrated leadership of the Santa Ana Police Department.
The Police Legal Advisor, Tamara Bogosian, is a Santa Ana Assistant City Attorney who is assigned full-time to provide legal advise to the Chief of Police and the entire Department. In addition, the Police Legal Advisor often represents the Department in litigation and other legal functions pertaining to police and public safety matter.
Chief Valentins' Executive Officer, Commander Jose Gonzalez, handles a variety of special projects for the Chief and also oversees the Public Information Officer, Professional Standards (Internal Affairs), and the Honor Guard. Professional Standards is staffed by four police sergeants, a police corporal, and two part-time office assistants. This unit is responsible for investigating allegations of employee misconduct, officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, as well as conducting organizational audits and representing the Department in providing records during court hearings. The Honor Guard is voluntary assignment of members who represent the Department at funerals and other public functions.
The Public Information Officer (PIO), Corporal Anthony Bertagna, is responsible for providing timely and transparent information to the media and members of the public concerning police matters. By actively utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, and Instagram, the Department has increased its ability to efficiently provide the public with information concerning public safety matters.