Police

Citrus Heights police chief elected to head statewide advocacy group

Ronald Lawrence, Citrus Heights
Ronald Lawrence has served as Police Chief in Citrus Heights since Oct. 31, 2016. // Image courtesy, CHPD

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights Police Chief Ronald Lawrence was installed as president of the California Police Chiefs Association on Saturday, making it the second time Citrus Heights has had one of its own police chiefs serve as head of the influential statewide organization.

Cal Chiefs represents over 300 municipal police chiefs across the state and serves as their collective voice in opposing or supporting state legislation.

“Our top priorities will be to work collaboratively at addressing issues facing our profession, including homelessness and the mentally ill, strengthening community trust, helping frame the conversation around police use of force, and working to pass legislation to standardize policies and training,” Lawrence said in a news release announcing his new position. “I proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with all California police chiefs, who are committed to working with our stakeholders on these priorities and many other issues that impact the safety of California residents.”

Lawrence will continue to serve as police chief during his one-year term as president of Cal Chiefs, as did former Citrus Heights Police Chief Christopher Boyd when he served a term as president of the organization in 2014.

Lawrence was appointed to Cal Chiefs’ board of directors in 2011 and was elected third vice president in 2016, the same year he was chosen to head the Citrus Heights Police Department. During his eight years with the organization, he served on several committees and workgroups, including chairing the association’s finance and political action committees.

From 2015: Boyd recalls challenge, ‘honor’ of leading Cal Police Chiefs Assoc.

The nonprofit California Police Chiefs Association was founded in 1966 with a mission to be “the voice of and resource of choice” for municipal police chiefs across the state. The organization now boasts a paid staff, an office downtown, and at least one full-time lobbyist on payroll.

In an interview with The Sentinel in 2015, Boyd called legislation “a big, if not the bulk” of what Cal Chiefs addresses. “We’re either battling bad legislation that we believe would hurt our ability to protect the public, or we’re carrying forward legislation that we think will help us do our jobs better,” he said.

Boyd administered the oath of office during Lawrence’s March 9 inauguration at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.