Chief Ron Lawrence grew up on a rice farm in Northern California. In 1989, at age 19, he attended the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy and began his career in law enforcement. He has served two different counties as a deputy sheriff, and six different cities as a police officer, promoting through the ranks as a corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and now police chief, over more than three decades with a variety of law enforcement agencies throughout California. He has served three different cities as police chief over the past eleven years, most recently with the City of Costa Mesa since September of 2021. Previously, he was the Chief of Police for the City of Citrus Heights in Sacramento County from 2016 – 2021, and the Chief of Police for the City of Rocklin from 2011 to 2016.
Chief Lawrence has held numerous assignments throughout his 32 year career including jail/custody deputy, patrol officer, field training officer, motorcycle/traffic officer, street crimes & vice, internal affairs investigator, personnel & training, watch-commander, division-commander, police executive, and others. He has received extensive police training throughout his career in a variety of specialized topics, and his formal education includes a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, a Masters Degree in Leadership, graduation from the the F.B.I. National Academy, and the California POST Command College.
Elected to serve as the 54th President of the California Police Chief’s Association (CPCA) during 2019-2020, Chief Lawrence represented all municipal police chiefs throughout the State. As President, he served as the CPCA media spokesperson, represented CPCA with the Governor, State Attorney General, and worked closely with Legislators at the State Capitol on critical public safety legislation. In 2021, Chief Lawrence was awarded CPCA’s prestigious Joe Malloy Award for his dedication to California law enforcement and the policing profession. Chief Lawrence remains CPCA’s sole California delegate to the State Association of Chiefs of Police, an appointment he has held for many years.
He currently serves on the Public Policy Institute of California Criminal Justice advisory committee, and he is a Board of Director for the Western States Information Network (WISN).
Married to his wife Jennifer, they live in Costa Mesa with their two Golden Retrievers and have four adult children, three of whom also live in Southern California.