Message from Acting Chief of Police John Murray

I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Salinas Police Department (SPD), the City of Salinas, and our community in my new role as your Acting Chief of Police.

It is an honor and privilege to work alongside a group of professionals who love our diverse community as much as I do. We are all proud to be working at one of the most respected and revered police agencies in the state of California.

First and foremost, we recognize that we do not achieve the status of being an elite police department in isolation; it requires a true partnership between law enforcement and the community we serve. We strive to always uphold the values our community expects of us – values such as trust, transparency, and accountability.

As we move forward with optimism and enthusiasm, I would like to remind our residents and visitors of some of our priorities:

Community Engagement: We believe that collaboration is key to successful policing. Our officers actively engage with community members through neighborhood meetings, outreach programs, and community events. By listening to your concerns and working together, we are able to address issues that matter most to you.

Transparency and Accountability: We understand the importance of transparency and accountability in law enforcement. In 2022, we continued to implement reforms, such as body-worn cameras, to ensure greater transparency in our interactions with the public. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity.

Community Policing: Our commitment to community policing remains strong. Over the past several years, SPD has undertaken a number of transformative changes with a community-centered approach to provide valuable training, police accountability, and principles focused on 21st Century Policing. We launched several successful initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of crime, working collaboratively with community organizations and providing resources to those in need.

Prevention and Intervention: We invested time and resources to secure a grant which has enabled us to lay the groundwork to establish a Youth Diversion Program and community outreach team called S.P.O.T. (Salinas Police Outreach Team), which will be launched in the Spring of 2024.

Recruitment and Retention: One of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement is recruitment and retention within police departments. Throughout 2023, we explored and implemented numerous ways in which to increase retention and recruit qualified candidates to join our mission. With the City’s support, we are once again highly competitive through generous hiring incentives ($20,000 – $40,000), launched a new recruitment website at, and have a dedicated team of Officers who are participating in job fairs and responding to inquiries daily.

All of these priorities play a pivotal role in SPD’s overall mission: to reduce violence, deter crime, and make our city a safe place to work, visit, and call home.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve this community and for your continued support. We will strive for excellence each and every day because you and your families deserve our absolute best!


Acting Chief of Police John Murray