OCEANSIDE–Oceanside Police Captain Fred Armijo was selected Thursday as the city’s next police chief.
Armijo has served as interim police chief since December of 2020 when then Chief Frank McCoy retired from the Oceanside Police Department. As chief, Armijo will lead the department’s 314 employees and manage the $66 million annual operating budget, Oceanside City Manager Deanna Lorson said Thursday in a news release.
The city conducted extensive community outreach to inform the selection process, from interviews with community leaders to a citywide survey of residents about neighborhood safety and public safety priorities.
Four panels comprising broad community representation, policing expertise, and department heads evaluated a competitive field of candidates from throughout the state and provided feedback to the city manager.
“We were extremely impressed with the expertise and credentials of the candidates we interviewed,” Lorson said. “Through this highly competitive process, Armijo emerged as the top contender with the panels recognizing that he brings unique strengths and perspectives that are extremely valuable as he serves in this key role in our community. Chief Armijo is a leader who embraces continuous improvement, community policing, and a commitment to serving and protecting all of our citizens.”
“I am proud to have an Oceanside native leading our police department. Born, raised and having attended public schools in Oceanside, Chief Armijo truly appreciates our diverse community – its cultural neighborhoods and families,” Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez said. “He is deeply committed to improving police-community relations, having had the unique opportunity to connect with all facets of our city throughout his career. His community orientation and thorough knowledge of the Police Department make him an excellent choice to lead our Department into the future.”
Initially hired by the City of Oceanside as a lifeguard in 1989, Armijo joined the police department as a sworn police officer in 1994 and was promoted through the ranks as sergeant, lieutenant and then ultimately police captain in 2011. As captain, he has directed each of the three divisions of the department; Support operations, investigations, and patrol. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. Armijo also graduated from the FBI National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police, and the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.
Chief Armijo serves on the Board of Directors for Oceanside Promise and is a member of the North San Diego County NAACP. He is an Oceanside native, graduating from Oceanside High School, and resides in Oceanside with his wife and two children, both graduates of Mission Vista High School in Oceanside.
“I am very honored to be selected as our next chief and am very humbled by the broad range of support I have received from our community. I want our community to know that its police department is comprised of some very outstanding people who recognize we are living through challenging times and that we have a lot of work ahead of us. My immediate priorities will be centered around training, accountability and community. This is the way forward to meeting our overarching goal of bringing about a sense of trust amongst all members of our community in its Police Department,” Armijo remarked.
In addition to Chief Armijo, four other candidates participated in a day of panel interviews. The five finalists included candidates with extensive law enforcement managerial experience and diverse backgrounds.
Interview panels composed of local community leaders and organizations gave their input in selecting the city’s police chief.