We finally have some very good news to report about the Santa Ana Police Department – a once proud agency that was wrecked by former SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas and our lame Santa Ana City Council majority. The current interim City Manager, Cynthia Kurtz, has appointed a new acting SAPD police chief selecting Deputy Chief David Valentin and returning the current acting police chief, Jim Schnabl, to his administrative duties.
This is truly fantastic news and I hope Valentin gets the permanent job. He is already the Deputy Chief in charge of Field Operations which includes the Patrol Division, Homeland Security, Traffic Division, Emergency Management and the SWAT team.
A native of Santa Ana, David Valentin is a home-grown product the city can be proud of. Raised in a single-parent home in central Santa Ana, David managed to maneuver his way successfully through the pitfalls of youth in a challenging environment. In gratitude, he has concentrated his life on giving back to the individuals and learning institutions that he believes provided him with boundless opportunities.David attended Santa Ana primary schools from the Head Start program to grade 12. He successfully graduating from Saddleback High School, and in 1987, he entered Santa Ana College where he obtained an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies in 1990.He joined the Santa Ana Police Department and began what would turn into a remarkable career for both David and his community. David was so inspired by the potential he felt he could contribute in his new profession that he turned again to Santa Ana College to further his education. In 1992 he completed the requirements to obtain an Associate in Science degree in Criminal Justice.David had the opportunity to be mentored by Santiago Community College Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. John Hernandez and was also a student in the Santa Ana College Puente program. After completing his studies, he returned to Santa Ana College as a panel member and a mentor for the program. His relationship with Dr. Hernandez is still very strong after 20 years.During his 18 years with the Santa Ana Police Department, David has been steadily promoted through the ranks to his current assignment as the Commander of Human Resources Division where he is responsible for department-wide personnel recruitment and retention. He has worked in all of the major functions of the department, with experience as an Internal Affairs Inspector and Patrol Sergeant. In this role, David ensured the department’s community-oriented policing strategies were implemented. David also worked as an investigator in the Gang Unit and the Sexual Assault Unit within the Crimes Against Persons Division. His career thus far has been a shining commitment to providing best practices to the Santa Ana community.Today David resides in the city of Orange with his wife Doreen and two daughters, ages three and five. But his commitment to the community that nurtured him in his youth extends beyond his impressive on-duty career. David has also been a leader for five years in the Stay in School Program; served as a School Resource Officer; helped the Medical Clinic Task Force address unlicensed and inadequate medical care; implemented a Parent Academy to equip families to prevent gangs and juvenile delinquency; coordinated the rededication of the West-End Policing Substation as a Community Resource Center; developed the largest Career Expo and Open House in more than 20 years, and was invited to participate in the 2007 and 2008 Orange County Young Men’s Conferences as an advocate for higher education.David’s colleagues on the Santa Ana Police Department say that they have only seen a limited number of individuals with the drive, focus and genuine leadership qualities that Commander Valentin possesses. “He cares deeply about the community and those with whom he works. You have received well deserved praise from residents, staff and your peers. Your leadership has been a positive contribution in enlisting the support of the community.” David Valentin has emerged as an ambassador of good will, building bridges between the Santa Ana Police Department and the diverse populations it serves. Santa Ana College is honored to have played a role in equipping him to fulfill his dreams.
But police union President Gerry Serrano stated in an email that “I’m pleased the city, after a thorough vetting, background and selection process, chose the best-qualified and -experienced candidate for this critical position.”
Serrano also said “Chief Valentin, who is Latino and bilingual, has a genuine concern for our diverse community and is what our community and city need.”