Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Chief Administrative Officer Robert "Bob" Gonzales died Tuesday morning.
Gonzales was 71-years-old and died due to complications following recent cardiac surgery.
Gonzales started his career as the Sheriff's Office's first non-sworn Human Resources Manager on August 31, 2019. On September 5, 2021, he was promoted as their first-ever Chief Administrative Officer. He remained in the position until his passing.
Sheriff Brown said "Bob loved life and his chosen profession: law enforcement. He also loved to work, and it showed. He touched many of us with his warm smile and positive nature. He left a big impression on us, and he will be greatly missed."
Gonzales was born and raised in Santa Paula. He graduated from Ventura College with an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1970, and an Associate of Arts Degree in General Education. He later graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Gonzales has a 33-year law enforcement career. In 1972 Gonzales began his career with the Santa Paula Police Department as a full-time police officer. Where he later held every sworn position in the agency: Police Officer, Senior Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant, Operations Commander and, for the last 7 years he served as the Santa Paula Chief of Police.
Once Gonzales retired from the Santa Paula PD, he was elected to the Santa Paula City Council and served two 4-year terms. He then served two additional terms as Santa Paula's Vice Mayor, and, finally, two more terms as the city's Mayor.
The Sheriff's Office says In his spare time, Gonzales enjoyed traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his 8 grandchildren.
Bob is survived by his four adult children: Steven Gonzales, who is a Sheriff's Deputy with the agency, and is married to Bob's daughter-in-law, Deputy Charlene Gonzales; Michelle McMahan; Mandee Gonzales and Brian Gonzales.