Captain James Christian has been selected as the new  Chief of San Clemente Police Services. He will begin serving the city on Friday, Jan. 13.  

“Having served the city of San Clemente in previous assignments and as a resident of this  community, I look forward to leading an exemplary team of men and women dedicated to  keeping our city safe,” Captain Christian said. “I am humbled to have been selected and excited  to begin this new assignment.”  

Captain Christian joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1997 after graduating from California State  University, Sacramento with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.  

As a deputy, he was assigned to Custody Operations and Patrol Operations. In his time on  patrol, Captain Christian served as a field training officer, a motor deputy, and as a member of  the Special Enforcement and Directed Enforcement teams, assignments that handle specific  crime problems or concerns in the community.  

Captain Christian then promoted to Investigator and worked in San Clemente General  Investigations, the Special Victims Detail and the Homicide Detail.  

After promoting to Sergeant, Captain Christian worked as a supervisor in the Central Jails  Division before serving as an Investigative Sergeant for the North Operations Division. He then  was assigned to the Professional Standards Division as an Internal Affairs Sergeant.  

Most recently, Captain Christian served as the Lieutenant for the Central Jails Division, managing day-to-day shift operations.

In addition, Captain Christian has extensive specialized training in various aspects of investigative techniques and strategy, leadership and critical incident response. When not working, Captain Christian enjoys spending time with his family on snowboard trips and supporting his children’s sporting events.  

San Clemente Police Services current Chief of Police Services, Captain Tony Benfield, is being promoted to Commander of the Sheriff’s Department’s Investigations Division. Captain Benfield begins his new assignment Jan. 13.