Former Sacramento Police Chief, Director of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative
Born in Mexico, Chief Venegas and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1958 settling in Santa Maria, California. He dropped out of high school and at 17, joined the US Army serving with the 101st Airborne Division in the US and Vietnam (l966-l968). He began his law enforcement career in June 1969 with the Fresno Police Department serving in various ranks, up to Deputy Chief until Jan 1993 when he became Sacramento’s Chief of police, retiring in February 2003.
He is now a consultant and the Project Director of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative. He engages law enforcement executives in a sensible dialogue over comprehensive immigration reform so as to educate the public and elected officials.
Long a proponent for Community Policing, Chief Venegas knows that public safety and national security success can only be achieved with the trust, support and engagement of each and every member of our communities. He has taught on Community Policing, performance and accountability and the principles of policing in a democratic society throughout the country.
Chief Venegas has a BA from the University of San Francisco and a MS from California State University Polytechnic, Pomona. He is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and National Executive Institute, the California Law Enforcement Command College and other California POST accredited studies. He is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Latino Peace Officers Association, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, California Police Chiefs Association, and Fresno Police Officers Association.