Robert Jonsen was named today as Menlo Park’s new Chief of Police. When formally appointed, Jonsen will succeed Interim Chief Lee Violett who has led the Department since the departure of Bryan Roberts in August 2012.
“We are extremely happy to have Bob join our Police Department and the Executive Team of the City,” said City Manager Alex McIntrye in a press release. “He brings a unique blend of successful experience in police operations, community awareness and sensitivity, and innovative use of technology.”
Jonsen, a 26-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has spent the last two years in the leadership position as Captain of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station overseeing 227 deputies providing law enforcement services to the City’s population of approximately 157,000 residents. Prior to being promoted to this command position, he spent three years heading an anti-crime effort in Antelope Valley that helped reduce crime rates to their lowest in over a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.
“I am humbled to be selected as Menlo Park Police Department’s next Chief of Police,” said Jonson in a statement. “There are no words to adequately express my excitement returning to the Bay Area after living and working in Los Angeles for the past 30 years. Menlo Park Police Department is known for their commitment to serving this community and I consider myself honored to become part of this team. The City of Menlo Park and all the members of the Police Department look forward to working together, reducing crime, strengthening partnerships and building synergy, until we have taken this community where it has a right to be – the safest city in America.”
Jonsen will be formally appointed and assume his position in mid-February pending the successful conclusion of a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) compliant background check required of all California police chiefs accepting a position in a police department other than the one in which they are currently employed.