Acting Chief of Police Kelly Rodriguez announced today her retirement from the Huntington Beach Police Department, effective November 13, 2020.
“After 24 years with the City of Huntington Beach, I have decided that now is the right time to retire,” Rodriguez said. “I have loved being part of this amazing Police Department and had been looking forward to serving as the Acting Chief. However, there is an unhealthy level of divisiveness right now in the department, and I have no desire to be thrust into the middle of the political fights that are currently occurring.”
Unsubstantiated and false rumors have been circulating on social media platforms today that Rodriguez was forced to retire by City Manager Oliver Chi.
“There is no truth whatsoever to the false claims that City Manager Oliver Chi asked me to retire,” Rodriguez said. “In fact, he has been among my most ardent supporters and has asked repeatedly that I stay onboard as the Acting Chief. However, I don’t want to be part of the escalating conflict that is occurring, and I want to urge everyone to realize that at some point, we need to come together to find consensus and common ground.”
“I have the greatest respect for Acting Chief Rodriguez and continue to believe that she is the right choice to lead our Police Department at this time,” said City Manager Chi. “During the past few days, she and I have had multiple discussions about the best path forward for our Police Department, and I have told Kelly that her leadership is what we need. However, given the intensity of the internal political conflicts that are occurring, while disappointed, I certainly understand and respect her decision to retire, and admire her humility and courage. All of us could learn something from her example.”
Having joined HBPD as a patrol officer in 1997, Rodriguez quickly rose through the ranks as a Sergeant in 2008, Captain in 2017, and most recently, Assistant Chief of Police in December 2018. During the course of her career, Rodriguez led the implementation of multiple public safety programs in Surf City, including the creation of improved Downtown patrol activities (like the City’s Ambassador Program), creation of the City’s mounted enforcement unit, and establishment of the City’s well-regarded homeless response task