The City of El Centro is pleased to announce that Deputy Chief of Police Robert Sawyer has been appointed as the Interim Police Chief, effective Friday, July 29th. This comes after El Centro Police Chief Brian Johnson announced his retirement effective July 29, 2022, after 4 years of service to the city.
A native of El Centro, a graduate of Central Union High School, and a proud husband and father, Robert Sawyer started his career with the El Centro Police Department as a patrol officer in 1998 after serving as a reserve police officer. As a police officer, he worked patrol, served as a field-training officer, was a part of the department’s range training team, was a member of the SWAT team, and worked as a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2010, where he worked patrol and enjoyed mentoring young officers. In 2015, Robert Sawyer earned his Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice from Coastal California University. He was promoted to Commander, where he had an opportunity to work with all divisions within the department. In 2018 Robert was hired as the Chief of Police in Brawley, California, serving two years in that role before returning to the El Centro Police Department as the Deputy Chief of Police in 2020. Robert has served in this role for the past two years overseeing both operations and administration.
“Robert brings significant law enforcement background to the position of Interim Police Chief”, said Marcela Piedra, City Manager. “His experience will allow him to work effectively with the Police Department personnel and residents of the El Centro community.” The City will begin the search for a new Police Chief, and it is anticipated that recruitment and hiring for the new Police Chief will take approximately 60 to 90 days.