After careful consideration, Tehachapi Police Chief Kent Kroeger has rescinded his retirement and will remain as chief of police in Tehachapi a post he has held since 2014. Kroeger had initially announced his retirement in December of last year, the City of Tehachapi hired a consultant to conduct a national search for his replacement and while several qualified candidates applied, the challenges surrounding the law enforcement profession were apparent during the search process.
“After careful consideration and discussions with City leaders, community members, law enforcement leaders, and most importantly my family, I have made the decision to rescind my planned retirement. I feel an obligation to continue to serve the City of Tehachapi and lead the Tehachapi Police Department into the future,” Kroeger said. “I recognize the current challenges facing the law enforcement profession, our police department, and the challenges faced by our community. I am committed to working closely with our City leaders, department members, and community members to meet these challenges and ensure the residents of Tehachapi remain safe. I am honored to continue to serve as your Police Chief.”
City Manager Greg Garrett is pleased to retain the services of Chief Kroeger to continue the momentum behind the law enforcement efforts of the Tehachapi Police Department including the 11.5% reduction in Part I crimes from 2021. In addition, as the State of California continues to make criminal prosecution more difficult, Kroeger’s efforts and familiarity with the city and advocacy for local control of law enforcement will be of tremendous value to the residents.
“Chief Kroeger has revitalized the Tehachapi Police Department and continues to be a law enforcement leader in Kern County, and we are thrilled to retain his services,” Garrett said. “Chief Kroeger works constantly on the safety of our residents, being a mentor to sworn officers and staff and ensuring that our city is safe even amongst unrealistic expectations from Sacramento we are lucky to have him and even luckier that he has decided to remain with our department for the foreseeable future.”
Kroeger’s accolades as chief of police include creating the Tehachapi Police Department’s in-house 9-1-1 dispatch center while securing one of the few small agency public safety answering point (PSAP) designations in the State of California. He was also honored by the Kern Council of Governments in 2018 with the ‘Richard A. Maxwell Regional Award of Merit for Public Safety’ honoring his department’s ability to train and allow officers to conduct criminal investigations in the absence of a large detective staff. Chief Kroeger’s leadership has also assisted the City of Tehachapi in acquiring the label “The Safest City in Kern County” from the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
He currently serves as the president of the Kern County Police Chief’s Association and is active in the community as a youth basketball coach with the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District. Despite legislative challenges presented in the State of California, Chief Kroeger and his department have managed to keep Part I crimes significantly low in the City of Tehachapi, limiting those incidents to fewer than 400 in three of the last five years including 2021’s 360 incidents which marked an 11.5% reduction from the prior year.
A graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Chief Kroeger holds a Master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in crime prevention and crime analysis from the University of Cincinnati.