San Ramon police Chief Scott Holder will retire at the end of October.
"Bringing together such a talented and dedicated team was remarkable and something I will never forget," Holder said Wednesday. He lists the department's Oath of Office on July 1, 2007, among his proudest moments as chief.
Holder had planned to stay with the department on a part-time basis, but opted instead to take a job in the private sector, Mayor Bill Clarkson said.
"I just want to be a normal guy. I can live my life without being the public eye," Holder said of his move to the private sector.
Prior to his coming to San Ramon as its first police chief, Holder served for 19 years with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, ending his career there as a lieutenant.
Holder was appointed as Contract Police Chief in April 2005 and hired as Police Chief in August 2006 after the City Council elected to create an independent police department. He created a five-person team, including Captain Gorton, which facilitated the department's transition -- a task that included recruiting and hiring 62 police employees, developing policies and procedures, purchasing, strategic planning, training and evaluation, budget development, IT systems coordination and organizational structure.
When the department formed, San Ramon's part 1 crimes (which include assaults, robberies and larcenies) had reached an all-time high. Those crimes have fallen nearly 34 percent during Chief Holder's tenure.
"Chief Holder laid a strong foundation for the San Ramon Police Department with the cornerstone being centered on maintaining the public trust," said Gorton. "He will be sorely missed."
Holder began his career with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department in 1985 and transferred to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department in 1987. In 19 years, he served in San Ramon as a police officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Assistant to the Police Chief and Lieutenant before becoming the Contract Police Chief.
In 8 1/2 years as chief, Holder has focused a great deal of effort and resources toward the
city's youth and schools. He said nothing in law enforcement is more influential than its ability to impact a young person's life.
"You have the ability to be a source, aside from their parents and school staff, to guide them down the right path," Holder said. "It really hit me last week while driving in the California High School homecoming parade and seeing all the middle school and elementary school students... the look on their faces when they see police cars and officers is priceless."
During his tenure as chief of police in San Ramon, Holder has seen the city grow to nearly 75,000 people and spread into the Dougherty Valley.
It was that growth and the additional area added inside city lines that prompted him to ask for four additional police officers at a City Council meeting earlier this year. Holder said traffic and the spreading of the city's area had slowed response times for police officers.
"The biggest change is the city has continued to grow, but the recession really set us back on things we were able to do as far as staffing," Holder said, adding that he believes staffing issues will be addressed soon. "We added 18,000 residents but didn't add any police officers in and you can't function like that."
San Ramon was recently recognized as the 87th safest city in America.
Holder's responsibilities include overseeing 58 sworn officers, 20 civilians and 55 civilian volunteers. He's also seen the police department move into new quarters off Crow Canyon Boulevard.
Police Capt. Joe Gorton will assume Holder's position until a permanent replacement is made.
Holder's pay was not listed on the city's annual salary report.