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Citrus Heights announces new police chief

Ron Lawrence, Citrus Heights
Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence will take over as Citrus Heights new police chief on Oct. 31, 2016. // Courtesy, Rocklin PD

In an announcement on Friday, outgoing Police Chief Christopher Boyd named the 46-year-old current police chief of Rocklin as his official replacement.

“It is with great pleasure that I introduce Ron Lawrence as the next Chief of Police for Citrus Heights,” said Boyd in a prepared statement. “I have tremendous respect for Chief Lawrence as a law enforcement executive and know his high standards in leadership, community service, and public safety will well lead the Citrus Heights Police Department into its next chapter.”

Boyd, who officially assumes his new position as Citrus Heights city manager on Oct. 1 to replace retiring manager Henry Tingle, said the incoming chief has extensive experience in law enforcement and has served as Rocklin’s police chief for the past five years. Boyd said Lawrence’s “empathy and compassion are values of utmost importance in today’s policing.”

Chief Lawrence will officially begin his new post with the Citrus Heights Police Department on Oct. 31, with commanders Gina Anderson and Daman Christensen filling in as interim chiefs during October.

[Also on The Sentinel: Citrus Heights council appoints police chief as new city manager]

In accepting the new position, Lawrence said Chief Boyd had been a mentor to him and said he was “honored and humbled” at the opportunity to take the helm of the police department in Citrus Heights.

“I didn’t even blink,” said Lawrence, when he was asked to take over CHPD. “It was an exciting opportunity for me and a perfect fit. I look forward to taking on the role.”

Lawrence praised CHPD as a “fantastic police department with some excellent leadership,” and said the community can expect “a lot more of the same, and building on the excellence that’s already there.”

Asked about his approach to policing, Lawrence said he sees police officers as “guardians of the community” and “peace keepers” rather than law enforcement, although he clarified enforcing laws is part of what police do. “We’re guardians of our hometown and we work with our community.”

According to a bio provided to The Sentinel, Lawrence began his career in law enforcement in 1989 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also holds a Master’s in Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and is an adjunct professor at William Jessup University in Rocklin.

Lawrence is also the 3rd Vice President of the California Police Chiefs Association (Cal Chiefs), putting him on track to serve as the Association’s president in 2019.

He currently lives in Rocklin along with his wife and three children, who are in middle school and high school.

[From June: “Citrus Heights Police Dept celebrates 10-year anniversary”]

Outgoing Chief Boyd, 49, has served at the helm of CHPD since its formation in 2006. He has been praised for reducing crime in the city over the past decade, with police reporting that property crime has dropped by 26 percent, persons crime by 33 percent, and collisions by 44 percent — compared to 10 years ago.

The Sentinel will be publishing a more in-depth profile on the incoming police chief next week. Sign up for The Sentinel’s free Weekend Edition to follow future stories and local news.

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