City of Fort Bragg logoJohn Naulty returned to the Fort Bragg Police Department on February 3, 2020, to serve as Interim Chief. The position was temporary until the City could fill the position vacated by Chief Lizarraga. Chief Naulty had retired as the Lieutenant with the Fort Bragg Police Department in April 2015 after 35 years in law enforcement. Naulty began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a Reserve Officer with the City of Fort Bragg. After graduating from the Police Academy, Naulty became a Police Officer with the Department. Over the next two decades, he held a number of positions in Fort Bragg and rose up through the ranks.

Naulty received multiple commendations for his heroic actions in March 2014 in response to an incident involving an armed robbery and kidnapping suspect. Naulty was the first officer on the scene after Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot and killed by the gunman just a few miles north of Fort Bragg.

The arrival of the pandemic in March, social unrest following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, controversy over Fort Bragg’s association to Confederal General Braxton Bragg and the continued struggle to keep the Fort Bragg Police Department staffed, trained and adapting to new expectations and revised policies, was certainly more than Chief Naulty signed on for or could ever have expected. City Manager Tabatha Miller continues to praise Chief Naulty’s leadership of the department. “I can’t imagine the last six months without Chief Naulty. I am so proud of his progress with the department and how well he has managed all that has come our way since the beginning of the year,” Miller said.

On March 16, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20, which included a provision to allow Retired Annuitants to exceed the 960-hour annual limit without reinstatement and/or benefit disruption. As a result, Chief Naulty is able to commit to the department for more than the 960 hours in fiscal year 2019-20 and 960 hours in FY 2020-21. So long as the provision in the Executive Order remains in place, Chief Naulty stated he is committed to serving Fort Bragg until July 2021.

“As challenging as the last six months have been, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve Fort Bragg again. The support that this community has shown me and the rest of the department is overwhelming. The thanks, the meals, the treats, the cards and the praise we have received, especially in the last couple of weeks, is so appreciated by all of us. We truly are honored to serve this fine City,” stated Chief Naulty.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tabatha Miller, City Manager, at or (707) 961-2829.