Chief Rick Braziel (Ret.)

Rick Braziel served as chief of the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) from 2008 until his retirement in December 2012. A 33-year veteran of the SPD, including 18 years as a member of the executive leadership team, he held a variety of ranks. As deputy chief, his assignments included the Office of Operations, Office of Investigations, Office of Technical Services, and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

As chief of police, Braziel refocused the SPD mission, including redesign of crime reduction strategies, deployment, and resources resulting in the reduction of Part I crime by 21% while reducing department staffing by 28%. Under his leadership, the SPD increased transparency and community involvement through the creation of a Police Advisory Committee, Interfaith Leaders Council, Youth Advisory Committee, town hall meetings, online citizen surveys, and a redesigned website with interactive features.

Braziel’s commitment to community policing is illustrated in his book, Cop Talk: Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing. He is also a nationally recognized instructor on the topic. He consults and instructs for Humboldt State University in teambuilding, communication skills, community policing, and leadership.

Braziel is president of the California Peace Officers Association, treasurer of the Police Executive Research Forum, a member of the California Police Chiefs Association board of directors and Salvation Army advisory board. He also served as chair of the Central California Intelligence Center Governance Board.

Braziel received his BA and MA in communication studies from California State University, Sacramento. In 2006, he received a master of arts in security studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. His thesis resulted in a $3.1 million grant toward the creation of communities of learning.

In addition to numerous commendations, Braziel received the Silver Medal of Valor in 1988, Distinguished Service Award in 2001, and a Unit Citation in 2002. He was named alumni of the year by California State University, Sacramento.

Chief Braziel (ret.) can be reached directly at

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