January 27, 2023
Riverside's acting police chief to step down, next chief named
RIVERSIDE – Just hours after Acting Police Chief John DeLaRosa announced his retirement, City Manager Brad Hudson made his choice to replace former chief Russ Leach.

Sergio Diaz emerged from a field of 62 applicants to become the city’s top cop.

Diaz is coming out of retirement after several years with the LAPD most recently as a commander. Diaz, 55, will take over July 1st.

The appointment has not ended the concerns of the ‘East Side Think Tank’, a group of citizens critical of the selection process. Mary Figueroa says details of the February DUI incident that led to Leach’s downfall and procedures that were not followed have not been spelled out.

“This is not over with. This is a lot more far reaching that the individuals that have now announced their retirement or have left the department.”

Meantime, acting chief DeLaRosa has asked that his retirement be July 23rd, allowing appointed-chief Diaz time to settle in. (INT)

Chief DeLaRosa's retirement letter:

It has been a distinct honor to serve the City of Riverside as a member of its Police Department since February 1, 1980. The opportunities to interact with members of our community, and the men and women of this fine Department, have enriched my professional life far beyond what I could have ever imagined.

Throughout my 33-year law enforcement career, I have been faced with making countless decisions, including some which were matters of life and death. I have done my level best to proceed in a thoughtful, straightforward manner which recognizes my responsibility to the community, my Department and the individuals involved. I have always taken responsibility for the outcomes of my decisions.

In the early morning hours of February 8th, however, I made a wrong decision. As I have expressed from the very onset of this situation, I accept full responsibility for not responding to the scene where our Officers stopped the former Chief, and for not asking more probing questions of the on-duty Watch Commander. I also recognize that I should have done more than urge the former Chief to notify the City Manager’s Office regarding this incident; I should have made this notification myself.

Most importantly, I recognize that the improper decisions I made in response to this incident have impacted the public trust that I have worked diligently to forge throughout my public service career. To the men and women of the Riverside Police Department, City leadership and our community, I am sorry.

I remain profoundly grateful for my experiences in service to our City and its residents over my decades with RPD, and am proud to have been able to assist with the Department’s transition to its next chapter under the leadership of the newly selected Chief. My family and I are very much looking forward to my retirement on July 23, 2010, and I know that our community will continue to be well served by the men and women of the Riverside Police Department.

John DeLaRosa

Acting Chief of Police

Riverside Police Department

City Manager Brad Hudson's announcement

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Sergio Diaz as Chief of Police for the City of Riverside.

Chief Diaz will take the helm on July 1st, following more than three decades of service with the Los Angeles Police Department where he attained the rank of Deputy Chief.

His extensive experience with LAPD includes command of Central Bureau Operations as well as the department’s Training Division, and leadership positions in Special Operations, Patrol and Internal Affairs. Chief Diaz brings a wealth of professional police management experience, along with a commitment to Community Policing honed over years of service to area residents.

This selection culminated an extensive search which drew extremely well qualified candidates from throughout the nation. I believe that the level of interest in Riverside’s recruitment reflects the wonderful quality of life in our City as well as the reputation of RPD.

The Department has faced heightened challenges over the past several months, and I appreciate Asst. Chief DeLaRosa’s service through this transitional period. I extend best wishes to John and his family as he embarks upon retirement.

The appointment of a new Police Chief is yet another positive step in RPD’s evolution as a professional law enforcement organization. Chief Diaz’s skilled leadership will ensure that the Department builds strongly upon the successes achieved over the past decade, while preparing officers at all levels for their roles in RPD’s future.

I look forward to the Chief’s introduction to our community, and the start of his tenure in leading our Police Department. Chief Diaz will be introduced to the community on Tuesday, June 15th at 5:30PM in the Grier Pavilion.

Bradley J. Hudson
City Manager

Story Date: June 14, 2010
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