Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Orlando Rodriguez will be the new Police Chief for the Sonoma Police Department, effective July 17. He replaces Chief Bret Sackett, who is retiring.
A 20-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, Rodriguez was one of the first officers assigned to the Sonoma Police Department when it contracted for law enforcement services from the County in 2004.
“Lt. Rodriguez comes to Sonoma with an understanding of small-town policing combined with large agency experience, plus direct service in Sonoma,” said City Manager Cathy Capriola. “His skills include patrol, traffic enforcement, domestic violence investigation, crisis negotiations, and community-oriented policing.”
Rodriguez, who is bilingual, started his career as a Police Officer with the City of Petaluma in 1995. In 1999, he joined the Sheriff’s Office team in 1999 and earned promotions to Sergeant in 2014 and Lieutenant in March 2018.
As a detective, he gained expertise in drug and crime scene investigations. Upon his promotion to Sergeant, he returned to the Sonoma Police Department where he was responsible for patrol operations before he was assigned to the Sheriff’s Personnel Bureau. There, he gained experience in staff administration and hiring new employees.
Rodriguez valued his nearly five years in Sonoma, first as an officer and later as a Sergeant. “The Sonoma officers in those early years had outstanding ideas for how to build a Police Department that best serves the Sonoma community,” Capriola said. “Those ideas helped shape the Sonoma Police Department into the well-respected department it is today.”
The new chief said his greatest asset is his community-oriented policing philosophy. He said he intends to keep working with the Sonoma and Valley communities to maintain and strengthen relationships, and focus on teamwork within the department.
Said Capriola, “I look forward to working with him to continue the rich tradition of exemplary, high-caliber, and cost -effective law enforcement services for the City of Sonoma.”