SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Chief Kathy Lester was sworn in Friday as the 46th Chief of Police for the Sacramento Police Department.
A 27-year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, Lester will be the first woman to hold the position.
"I am thrilled that Kathy has accepted this opportunity to continue to serve her community in this new capacity," said City Manager Howard Chan. "During her time with the Sacramento Police Department, she has proven herself to be a dynamic leader with an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, accountability, and innovation. There is no one better to serve in this role and to continue the ongoing efforts of the department and its outstanding employees."
Lester holds a bachelor's degree in government and international relations from Sacramento State University and a master's degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University. Lester, whose family has been in Sacramento for generations, served in the Army before joining the Sacramento Police Department. She studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and later worked as a military interpreter, combat medic, and range master.
Lester has accomplished a lot during her time in the Sacramento Police Department, some of her notable accomplishments being:
- Establishing Sac PD's Pipeline Hiring Program, which has helped to increase diversity within the department.
- Establishing a full-time mental health team within the department, led by a licensed social worker.
- Designing and securing grant funding and developing youth diversion programs as alternatives to detention for juveniles.
- Implementing gender-awareness training for all officers, based on the POST-approved curriculum originally developed by San Francisco County.
- Implementing 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.
- Creating the Outreach and Engagement Division, expanding community outreach efforts to multiple ethnic groups, and expanding partnerships with community-based organizations.
- Partnering 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.
Lester will be in charge of a department with over 1,100 sworn and civilian employees in her new role.
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