Meet Chief Walsh

GET TO KNOW MENIFEE'S NEW POLICE CHIEF

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Pat Walsh Chief of Police

Chief Walsh has an outstanding reputation, an impressive track record, and sets the bar high for Menifee’s Police Department. As a visionary leader, he is an experienced team builder and expert communicator who acts with the highest level of respect, fairness and compassion. Menifee PD will set the bar for a safe, respectful and inclusive culture where people come first.

Chief Walsh is a decorated 35-year law enforcement leader. A graduate of the prestigious United States Naval Postgraduate School – Center for Homeland Defense and Security, Walsh is widely known in the law enforcement community as an innovative reformer, passionate about training and accountability. He began his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff in Los Angeles County in 1984. He transferred to the Portland Police Bureau (OR) in 1992 and served the City of Portland, Oregon for 22 years. As an officer in Portland, Walsh worked for many years as an undercover narcotics investigator assigned to a Federal Drug Interdiction Task Force. During that time he received a Chief’s commendation for his work in dismantling a multi-state drug distribution ring. Walsh later returned to the Narcotics and Vice Unit as a sergeant, supervising several teams of federal and local agents.

Chief Walsh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University (OR) in Management, Communication and Leadership, and a Master of Science Degree from the prestigious United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. His thesis was titled: “How to build trust and legitimacy between the community and the police.”

Chief Walsh officially joined the City of Menifee executive team on April 2. He was sworn in on November 20th as Menifee’s first Police Chief. Chief Walsh and his wife of 34 years, Catherine, plan to make their home in Menifee.

PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU

Over the course of his tenure with the Portland Police Bureau, Chief Walsh served in a variety of assignments and ranks. Most notably, he was selected to lead the Office of Accountability and Professional Standards tasked with assessing officer use of force and discipline and creating and implementing “best practices” related to officer conduct and performance. As a Police Captain, Walsh was responsible for as many as 400 police personnel. In his final assignment in Portland, Walsh commanded the Tactical Operations Division consisting of the city’s Gang Enforcement Teams, Gun Task Force, SWAT, Crisis Negotiations Team and the Air Support Unit. He was also a founding member of the Portland Police Innovation Council working to identify innovative and creative ways to engage the community, and better use police resources to enhance community trust.

LOMPOC POLICE DEPARTMENT

In 2014, Chief Walsh was recruited to return to the Central Coast of California, where he was raised. Walsh was sworn in as the City of Lompoc’s 11th police chief on September 15, 2014. During his 4 ½ year tenure as Lompoc’s Police Chief, Walsh implemented a number of reforms aimed at professionalizing the department, improving its relationship with the community, and bolstering officer morale, integrity and ethics. He was very involved in the community serving on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara United Boys and Girls Club as well as the Lompoc Food Pantry. Chief Walsh was selected to represent all municipal police chiefs in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties on the California Police Chiefs’ Association Board of Directors.

After Chief Walsh announced his plans to leave the Lompoc Police Department in January, City Manager Jim Throop said, “Chief Pat Walsh has done an outstanding job leading the Lompoc Police Department. He exemplifies community policing at its finest, and can always be found out in the neighborhoods, getting to know those his department serves and protects. Chief Walsh is well-loved in Lompoc, and his departure will leave a hole in the heart of the Lompoc Valley. We are grateful for Chief Walsh’s time with our city.”