By Esha Bagora
On Feb. 24, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police department swore in Jaime Field as their new police chief; Field was selected as the chief on Jan.11 after Peter Decena’s resignation and served as an interim chief between the time of her inauguration and selection.
The selection process was rigorous. Now-retired Walnut Creek Police Chief Joel Bryden headed the operation; with the help of the recruiting firm Bob Murray & Associates, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department conducted a nationwide search for a new Chief of Police. In Nov. 2021, town residents added input to the recruitment process at a town hall meeting. Suggestions focused on finding a chief within the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department and hiring a female captain.
Before becoming the Chief of Police, Chief Field worked with the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department for 13 years, beginning as an officer and working up to a captain. Chief Field also worked as a deputy in the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and as a detective for the Pacific Grove Police Department. In addition, she used to teach criminal justice classes at Cabrillo College. Chief Field is also the first woman to head the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police department, and the only woman head of a municipal law enforcement agency in Santa Clara County.
The swearing-in ceremony was led by Town Manager Laurel Prevetti, and opened by Los Gatos Mayor Rob Rennie. Following Mayor Rennie’s speech, Monte Sereno mayor Javed I. Ellahie commended Chief Field for her exemplary service. Then, the assistant pastor for the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department, Reverend Dave Watermulder, led the attendees in prayer for Chief Field’s prosperous future as the Chief of the police department. Prevetti then swore in Chief Field, who promised to uphold the California Constitution and the U.S. Federal Constitution. Then, Chief Field’s daughter pinned the new chief badge onto her mother’s uniform, leading to Chief Field’s speech to end the ceremony.
On the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department’s Facebook account, Chief Field wrote, “I am honored and humbled to be the Chief of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department and to lead the exceptional team that makes up our police department. I look forward to expanding on our police-community relationships and building communication and partnerships throughout the community to build legitimacy and a working plan of public safety priorities.”
At the moment, the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police department faces an onslaught of officer retirements and a dispatcher shortage, as well as Los Gatos’ awakening from the COVID-19 lockdowns and public unrest
(Sources: Mercury News, The Los Gatan)