Twenty-seven-year Sac PD veteran Kathy Lester is set to become Sacramento’s 46th Chief of Police and the first woman to hold the position.
The Army Veteran and Sacramento native started as a dispatcher and served as a community service officer before becoming a sworn police officer in 1996. Lester rose through the ranks to become Deputy Chief of Operations. As Chief, she'll lead a department of more than 1,100 sworn and civilian staff. “Kathy Lester is not just a home-grown talent and a historic appointment; she is 100 percent the right person to lead this department at this time, displaying an unparalleled breadth of experience as well as the values critical to our communities,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a statement. “I know she will be terrific in this position and continue the high standards set by Chief Hahn.”
Lester’s family has lived in Sacramento for “multiple generations,” according to the release. She graduated from Sacramento State University after studying government and international relations and holds a master’s degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University. “I am humbled by this appointment and by the opportunity to serve our residents in this role,” Lester said in the release. “I joined the Sacramento Police Department because of its reputation for community-based policing, and that spirit of community and collaboration has long been instilled in me. I look forward to continuing the ongoing work by the Sacramento Police Department to make our city a place where everyone feels safe, secure and protected.”