Sun/El Sol Staff
Fabian Valdez, a captain in the San Gabriel Police Department, will be the next Police Chief of the San Fernando Police Department, City Manager Nick announced Wednesday, Feb. 9
Valdez replaces Tony Vairo, who retired as Chief in December after working 39 years in the department. Vairo became the SFPD Police Chief in 2015.
Lt. Nicole Hanchett served as the City’s interim Police Chief as San Fernando officials searched for Vairo’s permanent replacement.
Kimball said in a release that Valdez has been in law enforcement for more than 23 years and has spent his entire career with the San Gabriel Police Department.
Valdez has served at every rank within the San Gabriel Police Department, including Police Officer, School Resource Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. He was promoted to captain in 2018. He has also been president of the San Gabriel Police Officers Association.
Throughout the recruitment process, Valdez “demonstrated himself to be an experienced, enlightened, community centric police leader who combines a global perspective with a collaborative approach to community policing strategies,” Kimball said about the selection.
In addition to possessing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration Degrees from the University of La Verne, Kimball said Valdez is bilingual, an instructor at the Rio Hondo Police Academy, and adjunct professor at National University.
“Captain Valdez demonstrated a high level of excitement and breadth of fresh ideas for community policing that I believe will be of great value to the Department,” Kimball said. “He also expressed his eagerness for connecting directly with our Spanish speaking residents and business owners.”
“I am looking forward to strengthening the well-established relationship between the San Fernando Police Department and our community stakeholders through progressive policing strategies and community input,” Valdez said in a statement.
Valdez’ first day as San Fernando Police Chief is tentatively slated for Tuesday, February 22, 2022, Kimball said.
The City engaged executive search firm, Ralph Andersen & Associates, to assist with the recruitment of the Police Chief and held a virtual Town Hall on Sept. 21, 2021 to receive feedback from the community on the desired qualities and characteristics of San Fernando’s next Police Chief, the city manager said.