Hayward Chief Diane Urban (Left), San Mateo Chief Susan Manheimer (top), Oxnard Chief Jeri Williams (bottom)
Nationally, about two percent of police chiefs are women,
In June, Manhattan Beach PD welcomed Eve Irvine, its first
female chief, and Jackie Gomez-Whiteley became Cypress
PD’s first woman to wear four stars.
In May, Folsom PD hired its first female chief, Cynthia
Renaud, a former Long Beach PD commander. In March,
Sausalito PD introduced Jennifer Tejada as its 20th chief.
And in February, Oxnard PD’s first female chief, Jeri
Williams, took the helm after breaking gender barriers in
They are among 22 women currently serving as a police
chief in California, according to the California Police
Chiefs Association (CPCA). The longest serving: Susan
Manheimer, who was named San Mateo’s chief in 2000,
and was also CPCA’s first female board president.
Last year, four women scored top police jobs in California.
In 2009, the number was two.
“California has had more women chiefs than any other state
in the nation,” says Dorothy Schulz, a criminal justice, law
and police studies professor at John Jay College of Criminal
Justice and author of “Breaking the Brass Ceiling: Women
Police Chiefs & Their Paths to the Top.”
She says gender is irrelevant in determining success.
“I think management style is determined by many things
other than sex,” says Schultz, a former commanding officer
of New York’s Grand Central Terminal. “How one was
managed, education, etc., to me plays a larger role.”
California has had
more women chiefs
than any other state