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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of Santa ClaraCandidate for Chief of Police

Photo of Michael J. Sellers

Michael J. Sellers

Chief of Police
17,618 votes (50.15%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Maintain an open dialog with community members and businesses. Focus on SCPD’s long-standing tradition of honest, transparent, ethical law enforcement while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Become the safest city in America.
  • Continue to increase staffing levels according to the results of the Operational Analysis and Staffing Study conducted in Fall, 2015. A total of 24 positions have been approved over two years. Since July 1, 2016, I have hired 12 new employees.
  • Carry on the work being done to respond to the changing needs of our community, including neighborhood trends, creek trail access on stadium event days, traffic volume and speed. Continue to meet with community members as strategies are implemented.



Profession:Santa Clara Police Chief
Police Chief, City of Santa Clara — Elected position (2012–current)
Assistant Police Chief, Santa Clara Police Department (2012–2012)
Police Captain, Santa Clara Police Department (2008–2011)
Police Lieutenant, Santa Clara Police Department (2004–2008)
Police Sergeant, Santa Clara Police Department (1997–2004)
Police Officer, Santa Clara Police Department (1985–1997)


Sherman Block Supervisory Leadershhip Institute Graduate, supervisory studies, law enforcement (current)
F.B.I. National Academy, Quantico, VA Graduate, prestigious advanced law enforcement (2004)
California State University Long Beach Bachelor's Degree, health and human services, major: occupational studies (2003)

Community Activities

Member, Santa Clara Rotary Club (2000–current)
Board Member, Mission City Community Fund (2000–current)
Board Member, DeAnza College Administration of Justice Advisory Board (2011–current)
Member, Santa Clara Optimist Club (2011–current)
Member, Employer School Council (ESC) (2011–current)


Prior to his election to Chief of Police in November 2012, Mike spent his entire law enforcement career with the Santa Clara Police Department serving as:

 He began as a Cadet in 1978
Reserve Police Officer in 1982
Hired as a Police Officer in 1985
Promoted to Sergeant in 1997
Promoted to Lieutenant in 2004
Promoted to Captain in 2008
Promoted to Assistant Chief of Police in January of 2012

Through each of these promotional steps, he gained knowledge, experience, and developed the skills essential to being a good Police Chief.

Mike worked a wide variety of assignments over the years including:  SWAT, the Santa Clara County Sexual Assault Felon Enforcement task force (SAFE), Field Training Officer (FTO), and was an original member of the Special Enforcement Team (SET).

 As a Sergeant, he was a member of the Special Response Team, and worked undercover narcotics in the Specialized Crimes Action Team (SCAT).

 As a Lieutenant, he was assigned to the Field Operations Division as a watch commander, worked Special Operations, and Administrative Services Division.  He was the Reserve Officer Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator, Public Information Officer, and assisted with the Citizens’ Police Academy.

 As Captain, he took command of the Field Operations Division.

 As Assistant Police Chief, he managed the daily operations of the Police Department and oversaw an annual budget of $44 million dollars.


Mike earned a Bachelor’s Degree at California State University Long Beach

He graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy and the P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute

 Participation in Professional Organizations:

 Santa Clara County Police Chiefs' Association

 Law Enforcement Executive Council

 California Police Chiefs' Association

 FBI National Academy Associates

 International Association of Chief's of Police

 DeAnza College Administration of Justice Advisory Council

 Human Trafficking Commission

Advisory Council for the Law Enforcement Torch Run


 Mike is a Santa Clara resident and homeowner.

 He has two children, Matthew and Amanda.  Matthew serves as a Santa Clara Firefighter and is currently attending paramedic school.  Amanda is a graduate of California State University of Sacramento and the Culinary Art Institute of San Francisco.

 Mike’s wife, Denise, is the Police Chief in the City of Gilroy and has served in law enforcement for 31 years.

 Mike is very humbled and honored that all former City of Santa Clara Police Chiefs (Frank Vasquez, Charlie Arolla, Steve Lodge and Kevin Kyle) have endorsed his re-election campaign.

As your Chief, Mike will continue to serve our community with distinction and commitment to doing things the “Santa Clara Way”, pledging to continue the long-standing tradition of honest and ethical law enforcement to best serve our community.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • All previous living Santa Clara Police Chiefs: Chiefs Frank Vasquez, Charlie Arolla, Steve Lodge and Kevin Kyle
  • Former Santa Clara Mayors Gillmor, Fargher, Mahan, Matthews and Marsalli; Councilmembers and City Commissioners
  • Santa Clara City Council Members Pat Kolstad and Jerry Marsalli

Organizations (3)

  • Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee
  • California Police Chiefs Association
  • Santa Clara Police Management Association

Elected Officials (4)

  • Santa Clara City Council Members Pat Kolstad and Jerry Marsalli
  • US Congressman Mike Honda; California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith; San Mateo County Assistant Sheriff Mark Robbins
  • Councilmember Jason Baker, City of Campbell

Individuals (141)

  • Mario Bouza, CDT, Civil Service Commission
  • Former City Manager and Council Member Don Von Raesfeld
  • Former City Council Member Kevin Moore
  • Former City Council Member John McLemore
  • Former City Council Member Jim Ash
  • Former City Council Member Dave DeLozier
  • Former City Council Member Vern Deto
  • John & Nan Bringuel
  • Deborah York, Graphic Designer
  • Dan Winter, Assistant Police Chief, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Frank Walsh
  • Roy Truitt, Retired
  • Nick Streit, CPA
  • Maureen Standifer, Retired
  • Patt Smith
  • Michelle L. Smith
  • Don Skinner, Financial Advisor
  • Walter Silva, Jr.
  • Scott Savage, Law Enforcement
  • Mitch Sako, Engineer
  • Theri Rowen
  • Ken Rowell, Contractor
  • Richard Rossi, Business Owner
  • Bob Ricks, Frontier Infinity
  • Glorian Quigley
  • Heather Plamondon
  • Easy Perez, Attorney
  • Nels "Pete" Pearson, Retired Sergeant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Peggy Parkin
  • Marguerite Padovani, Marketing Consultant
  • Ester O'Keefe
  • Suresh Ojha, Engineer
  • Nam Keun Oh
  • Jan Eric Nordmo, Soccer Management
  • Colleen Noll, Montessori Education
  • Scott Ngai
  • Howard Myers, Retired
  • Michael Moul
  • John Mlnarik
  • Sarah Minion, Restaurant Owner
  • Steve Mello, Past Mtn. View Police Assoc. President; Past President, Central Coast Chapter PORAC
  • Paul McNamara
  • Carolyn McDowell, Management Analyst, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Walter Marwitz, Retired
  • Earl Marowelli, Retired
  • Miten Marfatia, Software Products
  • Donna Marencia, Retired
  • Monte R. Macer, Jr., Retired Sergeant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Ruth Lodge
  • Nick J. Livak, Attorney
  • Tae-Hee Lee, Retired
  • Sharon Lee
  • Larry Lee, Business Owner
  • Linda Leca, Restaurant Manager
  • Terri Kolstad, Retired, Santa Clara Police/Fire Departments
  • Jim Kim
  • Kwan Kim
  • Hobin Kim
  • Ro Khanna, Stanford Lecturer/Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce
  • Mark and Kathy Kelsey
  • William Kelly
  • Wahid Kazem, Police Captain, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Tabitha Kappeler-Hurley
  • Honorable Eugene Hyman, Retired Judge
  • Susan Hwang
  • Sam Hwang
  • Dan Holder, Restautant Owner
  • Vathanak Heang, Clergy
  • James Harsh
  • Heath Hanich, Financial Specialist
  • CJ Grewal, Real Estate
  • Lois Gordon
  • William Gissler
  • Sharon Gissler
  • James Gardner
  • Firefighters Gail Carter, Aurelio Perez, Kelley Richards,Daniel Rose, Cardiff Schmitz, Matthew Sellers, Aaron Gandy
  • Raymond G. Gamma, Retired, Fire Marshal
  • Gerri K. Gamma, Retired
  • Jill Fortino
  • David Fatland
  • Douglas Farel
  • John Elwood, Construction Management
  • Mary Donahue, Retired
  • ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.
  • Pat Deto
  • Steve Derossett, Retired Lieutenant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Margaret Demorest, Attorney
  • George Delucchi, Business Owner
  • Lorinda Defrites
  • Marcia Daszko
  • Mike D'Antonio
  • Joe Coogan
  • Gary Citti, Florist Retail
  • Robert Cesena, Retired Police Officer, Santa Clara Police Department
  • John Casey
  • Bill Carver, Retired Captain, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Ruth Carrasco-Mendoza
  • Betty Carmody
  • Laura Callejon
  • Don Callejon, Retired, Superintendent of Schools
  • Clare Callejon
  • Chuck Callejon
  • Harry Burns, Retired Captain, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Robin Burdick, Retired, City of Santa Clara
  • Robert Buchser, Retired, Santa Clara Unified School District
  • Max Bosel
  • Lidia Blair, Restaurant Owner
  • John Bertolotti, Business Owner
  • John Bermudes, Retired Lieutenant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Grace Bermudes
  • Michael Beck
  • Richard Beard, Retired Lieutenant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Jerry Bachur
  • Denise Bachur
  • Phil Auger
  • Bob Allen, Retired Sergeant, Santa Clara Police Department
  • Lou Ann Alexander, Optometrist
  • Colette Aldridge, Accountant
  • Denise Turner Sellers, Police Chief, City of Gilroy
  • David Tresmonian, Consultant
  • Robert Silano, Director, Menlo Park Fire
  • Steve Pangelinan, Police Chief, City of Milpitas
  • Greg Munks, Retired
  • Paul Gardner, San Jose Police Department (Ret.)
  • Don Gage, Former Mayor, City of Gilroy, and Santa Clara Board of Supervisors
  • John B. Carr, Consultant
  • Dennis Burns, City of Palo Alto
  • Robert Brooks, Consultant
  • Carolyn Bouza
  • Carlos Bolanos, Sheriff, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
  • Phil Kleinheinz, Santa Clara Fire Chief, 1999-2012 (Ret.)
  • Mike Walke, Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Spike Standifer, Historical and Landmarks Commission
  • Stephen Ricossoa, Board of Library Trustees
  • Regina "Jeannie" Mahan, Historical and Landmarks Commission
  • Mike O'Halloran, Planning Commission
  • Roseann LaCoursiere, Park and Recreation Commission
  • Sudhanshu "Suds" Jain, Planning Commission
  • Leonne "Lee" Broughman, Board of Library Trustees
  • Santa Clara City Commissioners;
  • Harbir Kaur Bhatia, Cultural Commission

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


The City of Santa Clara is the only city in the state of California that elects their Police Chief.  This is good as the Chief works for you, the citizens, and should not be controlled by elected officials.  UNFORTUNATELY, it also allows anyone who has a POST certificate (i.e., any police officer) to run for Chief – with or without education, with or without experience. 

I have been with the Santa Clara Police Department for over 31 years, the past four as your Police Chief.  Throughout my career I worked hard to finish my education to get my Degree, and tested and promoted through each and every rank in the department:  Police Officer – Sergeant – Lieutenant – Captain – Assistant Chief – and was elected as your Police Chief in 2012.   Promoting through the ranks allowed me to obtain the knowledge, experience, and develop skills essential to being a good Police Chief.


Being a Police Chief in this modern world requires leadership.  Under my leadership and with the hard work of the men and women of the Santa Clara Police Department, Santa Clara was named the 11th Safest City in America (American City and County Magazine, July 18, 2016).


There are challenges ahead.  I hope you’ll agree that I have the experience to move the Police Department forward as an organization.  We live and work in a great community.  I work hard every day to keep it great.  It has been an honor to be your Police Chief for the past four years.  With your vote, I look forward to leading the Santa Clara Police Department for the next four years.  Thank you.


Position Papers

Chief Mike Sellers - Achievements as your Chief


Innovative Achievements during Chief Sellers' first four years as your Police Chief.  Vote for Chief Sellers to continue his successes.

New Systems Expected to Increase Operational Efficiency and Serve Department Needs for Years

Police Chief Mike Sellers is leading a department-wide project to replace the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and Records Management System (RMS).  These aging sstems will soon no longer be supported by vendors, nor will they meet pending State and Federal guidelines.  Due to system limitations, current practice also requires staff to duplicate their data entry efforts which is not efficient and increases the risk of error.  The new CAD and RMS system is expected to increase operational efficiency and allow Santa Clara Police Department to serve our community's needs for years to come.

Technology Enhancements will Allow for New Reporting Opportunities

In 2015 the Police Department facilitated technology enhancements in the Communications Center, including replacement of the City's 9-1-1 telephone system.  This project is important because this new technology will allow Public Safety Dispatchers to accept 9-1-1 voice messages and text messages in the future.  Police Chief Mike Sellers recognized this need and laid the foundation for implementation of this new technology to better serve our community's needs.

Interoperability a Reality as a Result of Santa Clara County Police Chiefs Association

The Santa Clara County Police Chiefs Association worked collaboratively to purchase and implement a new state-of-the-art digital radio system to ensure County-wide public safety communications.  Prior to this initiative, fire and law enforcement agencies were not able to communicate on the same radio frequency. Why was this project important?
* Communication systems were fragmented
* Aging communications systems were nearing the end of their useful life and had limited capacity
* A joint purchase of this size created an opportunity for cost savings
* Improved flexibility, capacity and coverage
* Achieve the highest levels of interoperability
The City of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety were the first two agencies to purchase and implement this system. Eventually, 18 jurisdictions representing over 30 fire, law enforcement, emergency medical and public works agencies will all be able to communicate with one another on the same radio system.  Police Chief Mike Sellers is a member of this Association, supported this project and helped to implement it prior to Super Bowl 50.

Web and Social Media Presence Results in Community Engagement and Transparency

Under Chief Sellers' leadership, the Police Department developed a web and social media presence. The goal - engagement and transparency!  Social media has allowed the Santa Clara Police Department to easily communicate with the public, provide a forum for questions, share information quickly on road closings or incidents, increase transparency, share crime prevention tips and crime trends, and gather investigative information to solve crimes.  Links to all of the SCPD's social media sites are available at

Innovative Ideas Pay Big Dividends

In September 2014, Chief Sellers utilized Community Oriented Policing Services grant funds to expand the Police Department's public safety resources and equipped the patrol unit with five AED's (Automated External Defibrillators). The goal was to provide anyone impacted by sudden cardiac arrest with another chance at life.  Since the implementation of this program, the Santa Clara Police Department has deployed the AED's on two occasions, May 2015 and August 2016. As a result of the electrical activity, both victims regained heart function.  Eventually, Chief Sellers plans for all of the department's patrol vehicles to be equipped with AED's.

How has Chief Sellers Enhanced Communication and Transparency?

In the past four years, Chief Sellers has implemented programs aimed at serving Santa Clara residents, including:
* Hosted community meetings, called "Chat with the Chief" in neighborhoods throughout the city to provide residents with direct access to their elected official to discuss matters of interest, hear concerns and partner with creative solutions.
* Purchased Body-Worn Cameras for Police Officers and Reserve Police Officers to improve behavior of the people being recorded, provide an accurate record of events, improve agency transparency and strengthen police accountability.
* Enhanced the Police Department's website to include crime statistics, communicate valuable crime prevention information and educate the public on trends in law enforcement; and,
* Initiated a social media initiative to engage citizens committed to public safety.

Videos (1)

— October 14, 2016 Re-Elect Mike Sellers for Chief of Police 2016

Hear from Police Chief Mike Sellers and those who support his Re-election to Santa Clara Police Chief.

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