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Lompoc police chief to retire at end of year

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-09 00:18:36-05

The City of Lompoc is looking for its next chief of police.

The City announced Thursday that Police Chief Joseph Mariani is set to retire at the end of the year.

“I have enjoyed my time with the Lompoc Police Department, and am blessed and fortunate to have served with outstanding colleagues and for the wonderful Lompoc community,” Mariani said in a press release. “The members of the Lompoc Police Department serve with distinction and have a level of commitment that is commendable and unlike anything I have ever witnessed. The Lompoc community is in good hands with this police department.”

Chief Mariani has been with the Lompoc Police Department since Sept. 2015 when he came out of retirement from the LAPD to serve as a captain for Lompoc PD.

In March 2019, he was named chief and led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic while also being the city’s first Hispanic and bilingual police chief.

“Joe is one of the best leaders and team builders I have ever met. He has been more than just the chief of police here; he is someone who truly cares about his department and the community. And when you are around him, it shows,” said Lompoc City Manager Dean Albro. “I know the chief leaves behind an exceptional department that will ensure the continuation of excellent public safety service to our community. We thank Chief Mariani for his many years of service and wish him the very best in retirement.”

The City says during his time as chief, Mariani was able to fully staff the police department, something that hadn’t been done in seven years.

Other accomplishments include his collaboration with neighbor agencies to replace dated equipment, addressing quality-of-life issues in the city and implementing most of the recommendations made by the Office of Independent Review in 2018, according to the city.

Mariani’s last day on the job will be Dec. 31.

Captain Kevin Martin will serve as interim chief until a new chief is named.