Robert Lehner, Elk Grove’s police chief for the past eight years, has announced that he will retire from the department in October.
Lehner assumed leadership of the Elk Grove Police Department in 2008, after serving as chief of police in Eugene, Ore. He began his career with the Tucson Police Department in Arizona and left his post as senior assistant chief there in 2003 to become the chief in Eugene.
“Things are going well and, after eight years, it feels like the right time to pursue other opportunities and challenges,” Lehner said in a city news release.
The Elk Grove Police Department celebrated its 10th anniversary July 1. Lehner is the department’s second chief.
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City officials described Lehner as a problem solver who has led the agency through difficult economic times. Cited among his accomplishments are implementing professional policing programs for senior managers, commissioning a staffing study to help ensure the department could keep pace with Elk Grove’s increasing population, and institutionalizing a formal process for tracking and investigating citizen complaints and use-of-force reviews.
“We needed someone with Bob’s experience to develop department systems, structures and policies,” City Manager Laura Gill said in a written statement. “His leadership has truly transformed a young department into a modern, high-performing police agency.”
The Police Department, with approximately 130 sworn officers and 85 civilian employees, serves nearly 168,000 residents.