City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz announced today the selection of Kristina A. Bell as Redwood City’s new chief of police, effective June 5. With extensive experience in public safety, Bell brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Redwood City Police Department. As a lifelong resident of Redwood City, Bell also has a deep understanding of the Redwood City community and the many partners and agencies which collaborate to support public safety. Bell has an outstanding reputation for being an authentic and open leader, and has demonstrated honesty and integrity throughout her career.
“I am thrilled to welcome Kristina as the new police chief for Redwood City. Her significant experience and strong track record in building relationships, as well as her commitment to enhancing public safety, will be invaluable assets to our city,” said Stevenson Diaz. “I look forward to working closely with her as she leads the department to new heights. I’m confident that she will have a positive impact on the department and our community for years to come.”
Since 2020, Bell has served as the chief of police services for the City of San Carlos as a San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office captain. Bell has a proven history of being a hands-on leader and has held various positions within corrections, operations and support services within the County Sheriff’s Office, rising through the ranks from correctional officer to Sheriff’s Captain. Her experience as a mentor and coach will advance the department’s commitment to professional development.
“My primary objective as the Redwood City Police Chief is to work in partnership with the City Council, staff and the community to provide continued safety and security for those who work in, live in or visit our wonderful City,” said Bell. “I will continue to value and practice transparency and listen to all voices. Together, we can build upon the great foundation that has already been established in Redwood City.”
Bell has worked extensively with youth and diverse communities in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks and speaks Spanish. She is known as a good listener and creative problem solver. Bell started her employment at sixteen years old working for the Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. Bell worked every summer for Parks, Recreation and Community Services until she was hired full time as a program coordinator. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and a Master’s degree in Education from Southwest Baptist University. After one-and-a-half years as a site coordinator for after school programs in Redwood City, she began her law enforcement career with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, rising steadily through the ranks. She holds professional certificates in Executive Development from California Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T), the Los Angeles Police Department Leadership Program and the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.
“I appreciate the many community members who provided input on the recruitment process. I took their feedback to heart and sought to find a police chief who not only has the skills, temperament and experience to lead the department effectively, but also a demonstrated commitment to community engagement. Our new police chief will build on our strong relationships with community members and partners, and will help us continue to evolve in the services we provide,” Stevenson Diaz said.
Bell completed a rigorous state-mandated background check and will assume her role as Redwood City’s chief of police on June 5, 2023 following Chief Dan Mulholland’s retirement. Once set, upcoming opportunities to connect with incoming Chief Bell will be posted on the Police Department’s web page at www.RedwoodCity.org/Police.