News Flash

Police Department

Posted on: May 9, 2023

Corporal Chris Bridges is our Officer of the Year


During National Police Week, happening May 14-20, 2023, the Ventura Police Department (VPD) recognizes the 137 police officers who’ve selflessly sworn to protect and serve Ventura and honors Corporal Chris Bridges as the Officer of the Year.

“I am extremely proud of our team of officers who’ve dedicated their lives to Ventura’s safety; and am thankful to their families for the unwavering support of a challenging career,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “I am incredibly proud to lead a team that is compassionate and proud to serve with integrity, respect, and professionalism.

After 12 years in law enforcement, Corporal Bridges lateraled to VPD in 2013. He’s held assignments in patrol and the Special Victims Unit and is also a taser instructor, less lethal munitions instructor, a field training officer, and a member of the Honor Guard.

“Beyond Corporal Bridges’ incredible work as a patrol officer and detective, he has almost single-handedly taken our Explorer Program from its infancy to a thriving program with over 20 local teens,” said Sergeant Dean Cole who also serves as an Explorer Program Advisor. “I challenge anyone to find another person as committed to community service than Chris. He spreads joy, assists team members regularly, and is truly dedicated to this city, this department, and these kids.”

National Police Week is also a time to honor those fallen officers who have given their lives in the line of duty, including the loss of Ventura Police Sergeant Darlon “Dee” Dowell who was tragically killed on August 7, 1978. The street in which the Ventura Police headquarters is located was named Dowell Drive in his honor.

The Ventura Police Department is currently hiring lateral, academy-trained officers, as well as police officer trainees. For more information about the Ventura Police Department recruitment and hiring process, visit

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