ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 18, 2023) — Deputy Chief Rick Armendariz has been selected to lead Orange County’s largest city law enforcement agency as the next chief of police of the Anaheim Police Department.
Armendariz, who has served as Anaheim’s deputy chief since 2019, was named the department’s incoming chief with City Council approval of a contract on Tuesday.
He is set to be sworn in as chief on August 18 following the retirement of Chief Jorge Cisneros, who has served since 2018 and announced his pending retirement earlier this year.
Armendariz will be the 37th chief in the 153-year history of the Anaheim Police Department.
He will lead the largest city police department in Orange County, second only in size to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which serves county areas and some cities under contract.
Armendariz will oversee nearly 600 employees including more than 400 sworn police officers, detectives, investigators, pilots, mounted unit officers and horses, K-9 officers, SWAT personnel and command staff.
The incoming chief’s law enforcement career began in 1995 when Armendariz was sworn in as a police officer with the Modesto Police Department.
Armendariz promoted through the Modesto ranks as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and then as assistant police chief.
From 2017 to 2019, Armendariz also served as interim deputy city manager for Modesto while continuing to serve as deputy chief.
As a captain and assistant chief, Armendariz worked closely with the Modesto police chief to transform the department to be more engaged with the community and to draw on intelligence and data to reduce crime and improve quality of life for residents.
In Modesto, he restarted community programs, created cadet positions, launched a real-time crime center, implemented new policing software and developed crime intelligence meetings.
Since arriving in Anaheim in 2019, Armendariz has taken on a leadership role in the department and the community.
As incoming chief, Armendariz brings both continuity as the department’s deputy chief and also is expected to continue advancing the department in community policing and in addressing key issues, including homelessness when a matter of public safety, serious drug issues, burglaries and break-ins, traffic and other critical law enforcement and quality of life issues.
Armendariz is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico and the Senior Management Institution of Boston University. He holds a master’s of science degree in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach, and a bachelor’s of arts in criminal justice from Chapman University.
Anaheim's police chief plays a critical role in connecting the department with the community by working with groups such as the Chief's Advisory Board, Chief's Neighborhood Advisory Council and the Chief's Youth Advisory Council on issues of public safety and quality of life in Anaheim.
The appointment follows an extensive recruitment process in May and June that included multiple public meetings and stakeholder involvement on a review panel.
Incoming chief Armendariz is an Anaheim resident.
You can see more about the Anaheim Police Department here.