Police Chief to Retire After 32 Years of Service

Oakley Police Chief, Chris Thorsen, has announced his retirement after 32 years of law enforcement service. Chief Thorsen served as the Police Chief in Oakley from 2005 to 2010 as a Lieutenant in the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office. During this period and up to May of 2016 the City contracted with the Sheriff’s Office for police services. Chief Thorsen was hired in July of 2015 to help lead the transition from the contract with the Sheriff’s Office to the formation of the “in-house” Oakley Police Department.
Chief Thorsen reflected on the huge accomplishment and success of this transition, “The last three years have been the most incredible experience in my professional life. Together, we accomplished a monumental task. The building of a stand-alone police agency is a huge undertaking. There were many who predicted our failure. Today, the outstanding work done by the men and women of the Oakley Police Department is evidence of our success.”
Among the many accomplishments of the Oakley Police Department is that Oakley has consistently been named as one of California’s safest cities. Most recently, ranked the state’s 21st safest city by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
“Chris has been an integral part of the success of the City organization and will be sorely missed. The Incorporation of Oakley is the most significant and important event of the City’s history, and the transition from the Sheriff’s Office to our own “in-house” Police Department is a close second. In the spirit and style of Team Oakley, the transition was implemented with a lean staff and with great success – something Chris will always be able to remember as a major highlight of his 30+ year career,” stated City Manager Bryan Montgomery.
About a year ago, the City began looking for a potential replacement to fill Chief Thorsen’s big shoes and included in the job posting for Police Captain that the Chief would be retiring before the end of 2018. The position of Captain was subsequently filled by Eric Christensen who most recently served as the Chief of Police for Lafayette. Captain Christensen will be sworn in as Oakley’s new Chief of Police upon Chief Thorsen’s retirement that will be effective November 30th.
A community open house to honor Chief Thorsen’s service to the Oakley community will be held at City Hall on Tuesday, November 20th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and all are invited to attend.