San Ramon's first police chief will retire from his post as the head of the San Ramon Police Department next month, department officials said today.
The announcement was made informally made Tuesday at a City Council meeting.
Chief Scott Holder was hired as the city's first police chief in 2005 and helped it transition from a Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office contract to its own police force in 2007. Nov. 8 will be his last day on the job as he prepares to take a private sector position, department officials said.
San Ramon police Capt. Joe Gorton has been selected to take Holder's place.
"Leaving the department is not easy, but I am able to do so because I know that Joe is qualified, ready and able to assume command and continue to provide the highest level of police service to the community of San Ramon," the chief said.
In more than 8 years as chief, Holder has devoted considerable police resources to the department's Youth Services Programs, which included strong partnerships with local schools and education about traffic and pedestrian safety and a yearly "Youth Police Academy" to teach local children about crime and safety issues in their community.
"You have the ability to be a source, aside from their parents and school staff, to guide them down the right path," the chief said of law enforcement's impact on young people.
"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," he said.
Holder began his 28-year law enforcement career with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department in 1985 before transferring to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office two years later.