Sonoma City Manager Cathy Capriola announced on June 29 that Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lt. Orlando Rodriguez will be the new Police Chief for the Sonoma Police Department. He will start on July 17, immediately following the retirement of outgoing Chief Bret Sackett.

Since 2004, the City of Sonoma has contracted its law enforcement services through the county Sheriff’s Office.

Capriola said that Rodriguez comes to Sonoma with an understanding of small town policing combined with large agency experience plus direct service in Sonoma. He started his career as a police officer with the City of Petaluma in 1995. He joined the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office team in 1999 and earned promotions to Sergeant in 2014 and then Lieutenant this past March.

According to the press release, his experience includes patrol, traffic enforcement, domestic violence investigation, crisis negotiations and community-oriented policing. He is also bilingual. As a detective, Rodriguez gained expertise in drug- and crime-scene investigations. Upon his promotion to Sergeant, he returned to the Sonoma Police Department where he was responsible for patrol operations before he was assigned to the Sheriff’s Personnel Bureau. There, he gained experience in staff administration and hiring new employees, according to City staff.

The Sheriff’s Office has been providing contract law enforcement services to City of Sonoma since 2004.

Rodriguez was one of the first deputies to work in Sonoma when the Sheriff’s Office began serving the Sonoma community through the city’s law enforcement contract.

According to Capriola, he speaks fondly and passionately of his nearly five years in Sonoma, first as an officer and later as a Sergeant in Sonoma and the Valley.

“We are excited about Lt. Rodriguez’s commitment to the community-policing model, his passion for the Sonoma community, and his authentic servant-leadership style,” said Capriola. “I look forward to working with him to continue the rich tradition of exemplary, high-caliber, and cost-effective law enforcement services for the City of Sonoma.”

Email Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.