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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
County

Sonoma CountyCandidate for Sheriff/Coroner

Photo of Ernesto Olivares

Ernesto Olivares

Retired Police Lieutenant
21,414 votes (18%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improving Public Trust
  • Promoting Diversity
  • Promoting Community Policing

Experience

Experience

Profession:Santa Rosa Council member/Retired Police Lt.
Executive Director, California Cities Violence Prevention Network (2012–current)
Council Member, City of Santa Rosa — Elected position (2008–current)
Police Officer, Police Sergeant, Police Lieutenant, City of Santa Rosa (1979–2008)

Education

California State University Long Beach Bachelor of Science, Occupational Studies (2008)

Community Activities

Member, Elsie Allen High School Foundation (2010–current)
Member, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (2008–current)
Member, Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County Advisory Council (2007–current)
Member, Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights (2006–2012)

Biography

Ernesto Olivares, Executive Director of the California Cities Violence Prevention Network (CCVPN/The Network), and Santa Rosa City Council Member, has been a public safety professional and public servant for over 40 years. Ernesto retired from the Santa Rosa Police Department as a Police Lieutenant in 2008 after serving as Manager of Santa Rosa’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Services. In this role he led the development of the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership including the coordination and implementation of the City’s first ever Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan.

Upon his retirement, Ernesto was elected to the Santa Rosa City Council and served as the City’s Mayor for a two-year term from 2010 to 2012. He was the City’s first Latino Mayor. Ernesto was recently elected to his third term. As a Council Member, Ernesto has served as chair of the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership and oversaw the development and implementation of the City’s second Violence Prevention Plan. During his 6-years as chair of the Partnership he led the expansion of the Policy Committee to include state and federal elected officials representing the City of Santa Rosa. Representation includes members of the State Senate and Assembly, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As Director of the CCVPN, Ernesto coordinates the Network’s efforts to provide training and technical assistance to cities in the development and implementation of comprehensive city-wide violence prevention strategic plans that blend prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry efforts. He has delivered these services to the cities of Long Beach, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Woodland, Colusa, Santa Barbara and recently lead the efforts in Santa Maria to help develop and implement their first comprehensive violence prevention plan.

Ernesto represents the Network in briefing State and Federal policy-makers about how comprehensive violence prevention plans can reduce violent crime through strong partnerships between law enforcement, local government, community-based organizations, schools, faith-based groups, and the community. His recent efforts include the coordination of training and technical assistance in strengthening police and community relations. In 2017 he developed a one-day forum in Stockton, CA for California cities on how to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This is the first ever event in California focusing on community-wide efforts to build law enforcement and community trust. Over 100 attendees participated from more than 20 communities including law enforcement, local government, faith leaders, community members and other community representatives.

Ernesto has served on two California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Standing Committees on Gangs. The committee supports the BSCC in meeting its legislative mandates by providing recommendations on gang reduction policy issues, developing Requests for Proposals (RFP), and making funding recommendations for California cities. He also served on the BSCC Strengthening Police and Community Relations Executive Steering Committee, tasked with developing a Request for Proposals and making funding recommendations for the award of $6 million in grant funds to California law enforcement agencies to strengthen their relationship with the communities they serve. A key component of the RFP was the requirement that funded communities partner with a local community organization in developing and implementing their funded programs and strategies. Ernesto has also served 9 years on the League of California Cities Public Safety Policy Committee providing policy recommendations on proposed public safety legislation.

Ernesto has made presentations and consulted on Building Safe Communities, Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Best Practices, Trauma-Informed Violence Prevention, and Building Police and Community Trust at a number of conferences and forums including: the National League of Cities; the U.S. Department of Education; the California Probation, Parole, and Correctional Officers Association; the Los Angeles Gang Prevention Conference; the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families; the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention; the United States Council on Foundations; Futures Without Violence; the Institute for Local Government; the National Superintendent’s Roundtable, and most recently serving on a featured panel focusing on Urban Gun Violence Prevention at the Inaugural Gun Violence Prevention Summit in Washington, DC in May 2017. Ernesto also participates on a bi-monthly conference call with law enforcement chiefs from a variety of cities around the country to discuss and share strategies aimed a strengthening police and community trust. This “Community of Practice” is coordinated by the National Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. 

Ernesto has a long history of community engagement and has volunteered on the boards of numerous community organizations including; the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County; Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees; United Way of the Wine Country; the Redwood Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America; the Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy; the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights; the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Santa Rosa Steering Committee; and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Greater Bay Area. Ernesto currently serves on the Elsie Allen High School Foundation; the Boys and Girls Club of Central Sonoma County Advisory Council; Lifeworks of Sonoma County Advisory Board; the Goals Foundation Advisory Board, and the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Board of Directors.

In 1991, Ernesto was honored by the Optimist Club of Santa Rosa for his service to the community and received a Silver Meritorious Award from the Santa Rosa Police Department.  In 2006, Ernesto received the Sonoma Red Cross Real Heroes Law Enforcement Award for his service to the community. In 2007 he received the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Excellence Award in the field of Law Enforcement award and the Lifetime Achievement and Community Service Award from the San Francisco County Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association. In 2013 he was honored as the Distinguished Citizen of Year by the Redwood Empire Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America.  In 2017 Ernesto received a Latino Business Leadership award from the North Bay Business Journal.  

Ernesto was born in Mexico. His parents, Jose and Maria Luz Olivares brought their family to the United States when Ernesto was 2-years old and eventually settled in Colusa, CA, where the family of 10 worked as migrant farmworkers. Ernesto left farm work to pursue his law enforcement career beginning with the Yuba Community College Campus Police Department in 1976.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Teamsters Local 665
  • Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Assemblymember Marc Levine

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a longtime moderate democrat with a strong interest in helping to build safe and healthy communities but have only served in non-partican elected positions where I can serve entire communities equally.  This includes providing services to underserved and vulnerable populations like youth, seniors, immigrants, and neighborhoods with a high frequency of enforcement contact by law enforcement. 

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