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Sacramento Police Select First Woman And 27-Year Veteran As New Chief

A new Police Chief for Sacramento has been selected to replace current Chief Daniel Hahn when he retires at the end of the year. 27-year Sac PD veteran Kathy Lester set to become the next Chief, becoming Sacramento’s 46th Chief of Police and the first woman to hold the position. The home-grown talent holds a bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University. After starting as a dispatcher, Lester served as a community service officer before becoming a sworn officer. She rose through the ranks to become Deputy Chief of Operations. As Chief, Lester will lead a department of more than 1,100 sworn and civilian staff. While this is an appointed not an elected position, the department conducted a community survey to take input in what city residents hope to see from the newest Chief.

Among her many notable accomplishments with the Sacramento Police Department over the years, Lester:

  • Established Sac PD’s Pipeline Hiring Program, which has helped to increase diversity within the department.
  • Established a full-time mental health team within the department, led by a licensed social worker.
  • Designed, secured grant funding and developed youth diversion programs as alternatives to detention for juveniles.
  • Implemented gender-awareness training for all officers, based on the POST-approved curriculum originally developed by San Francisco County.
  • Implemented disproportionate-minority-contact and implicit bias training, resulting in changes to the POST curriculum and Sacramento becoming the first municipal agency in the state to adopt this training.
  • Created the Outreach and Engagement Division, expanded community outreach efforts to multiple ethnic groups and expanded partnerships with community-based organizations.
  • Partnered with a team of scientists from around the country on the Safe and Connected Communities grant, which looks to make vulnerable populations more resilient to natural disasters.

KFBK's Kellie DeMarco spoke to the newly appointed future Chief Kathy Lester...

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