Riverside Police Department Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Chief Leach announces promotions

Riverside, Ca- Chief Russ Leach is pleased to announce the promotion of Captain John De La Rosa to the position of Deputy Chief, Administration.

“At a time of reorganization and growth in the Riverside Police Department, I am pleased to be able to make the following changes and promotions with such able police department personnel,” said Russ Leach, Chief of Police. RPD opened its new Magnolia Policing Center on July 15, initiating a significant redeployment of RPD personnel.

Deputy Chief John De La Rosa takes command of Department Administration, with oversight of Support Services, Special Projects and Management Services. Areas under his command include Communications, Community Services, Facilities, Finance, Internal Affairs, Personnel and Training, Records and the new Audit and Compliance unit.

De La Rosa grew up in Los Angeles. He became interested in police work through a friend and he applied as a Police Trainee through the Corona Police Department in 1977. He was hired by the Rialto Police Department as a sworn officer in 1978.

De La Rosa served in Patrol and as a training officer. De La Rosa joined the Riverside Police Department in 1980; he served in Patrol, METRO (SWAT), Street Narcotics, Bicycle Team and as Field Training Officer. He was promoted to Detective in 1983 and served in Narcotics, with the Street Crime Task Force and with the Inland Regional Apprehension Team (IRAT). Promoted to Sergeant in 1995, he was assigned to Internal Affairs; he later supervised the Gang Unit, the METRO Team and the Officer-Involved Shooting and Homicide unit.

Promoted to Lieutenant in 2001, De La Rosa served as a Watch Commander and Area Commander and had postings in charge of General Investigations, Personnel and Training, and Internal Affairs. He was promoted to Captain in 2005 and has had command of Special Operations and, most recently, Field Operations in the North and East Policing Centers.

De La Rosa has his Associate’s degree from Riverside Community College and Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University-San Bernardino. [Click image for full sized photograph]

Deputy Chief David Dominguez, named Deputy Chief in 2003, will command Department Operations from the Magnolia Policing Center.

Commander Richard Dana, a distinguished Riverside Police Department veteran since 1971, has recently been named the new Chief of Police for the city of Hemet.

In addition to Deputy Chief De La Rosa, the following promotions are also effective July 28, 2006:

Click picture for full size press imageCaptain Meredyth Meredith grew up in Riverside and is a graduate of Rubidoux High School and Riverside Community College. She joined the Riverside Police Department in 1982. As a Police Officer, she was involved in Patrol, Public Education, as a Field Training Officer and with department’s former Mounted Unit. Promoted to Detective in 1990, Meredith investigated Property Crimes and Criminal Intelligence. She was promoted to Sergeant in 1993. Following her promotion to Lieutenant in 1999, Meredith was Watch Commander and Area Commander for the former Area 3, and in charge of the General Investigations Bureau and Family Services Bureau. She also served as Acting Division Commander of Special Operations. Her most recent assignment is in Communications. She was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement in 2001. Captain Meredith earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocational Education from California State University-San Bernardino and her Master’s degree in Behavioral Sciences from California State University-Dominguez Hills. [Click image for full sized photograph]

Lieutenant Steve Johnson is a Riverside native and a 1974 graduate of Poly High School who arrived at his police career through community connections with the private sector. A building contractor active in the Rotary Club, Johnson was studying to become a Riverside Reserve Officer when former Chief Sonny Richardson urged him to consider applying for an immediate opening on the force. Johnson sold his business in 1991 and, at age 35, he graduated from the Riverside Sheriff’s Academy as Class President and became a sworn officer.

Johnson served in Patrol, on the Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Team, with the SWAT Team, as Coordinator of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, and as Public Information Officer. He served as the Chief's liaison to the City Council, Human Relations Commission, and various community groups. He was promoted to Detective in 1995, serving in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse/Child Abuse (SACA), and Homicide units. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2001, working Patrol, Homicide, Officer Involved Shooting Team and, his most recent assignment, in Internal Affairs. Johnson continues at Internal Affairs at this time. Having taken courses at Riverside Community College, Johnson is close to completing his bachelor’s degree at California Baptist University.

Lieutenant Vic Williams grew up in Los Angeles and began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office in 1988. He made the lateral transfer to Riverside Police Department in 1990, where he served on Patrol, as one of the original members of the Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Team, as a collateral member of the SWAT Team, as a member of the fugitive warrant detail and as a robbery investigator. Williams was promoted to Detective in 1998, where he worked in the Burglary and Homicide units. Promoted to Sergeant in 2001, Williams worked first in Field Operations before his most recent assignment in Internal Affairs. Williams is a graduate of Riverside Community College and the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute. He is pursuing further course work through Southern Illinois University.

Sergeant Ed Collins is a United States Air Force veteran who served as a Military Police officer (MP) at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino prior to joining the Riverside Police Department in 1992. Collins served in Patrol, as Field Training Officer, on the Bicycle Unit, the Problem Oriented Police ( POP) Team and as School Resource Office in the Alvord Unified School District and in the Personnel and Training Division, involved recruitment and background checks of new police officers. Collins was promoted to Detective in December 2005; he has worked in the Domestic Violence unit and on East Neighborhood Policing Center Quality of Life issues.

Sergeant Christian Dinco began his law enforcement career by putting himself through the Police Academy at Fullerton College in 1992. Halfway through the Academy he was hired by Orange County Sheriff’s Department as a Sheriff’s Special Officer and was assigned to the downtown Intake Release Center; he was hired by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in April of 1993 as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the jail in Orange. Anxious to get on the street, Dinco made the transfer to Riverside Police Department in 1995 and was assigned to Patrol. He was part of the METRO (SWAT) team and worked as a School Resource Officer. Promoted to Detective in 2004, Dinco worked Narcotics, Auto Theft, and at the Central Neighborhood Policing Center. Sergeant Dinco is currently assigned to Patrol in the West Policing Center.

Sergeant Terry Meyer grew up in Riverside, graduated from Ramona High School and, in 1989, joined the University of California Police at UCR. In 1993, he made the transfer to Riverside Police Department, where he served in Patrol as a Field Training Officer and as Alcoholic Beverage Control officer with the Vice Unit. Promoted to Detective in 2001, Meyer worked with the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault/Child Abuse (SACA), and Homicide units, and with IRAT – the Inland Regional Apprehension Team. Sergeant Meyer is working in Field Operations. Meyer is pursing a degree in Organization Leadership at Biola University.

Sergeant Rene Ramirez grew up in San Bernardino; he is a graduate of Colton High School, is a student at California State University-San Bernardino, and stared his law enforcement career as a Reserve Officer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office. He went through the SBSO Academy and became a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy in 1991; he joined the Riverside Police Department in 1993. Ramirez served in Field Operations, as a Field Training Officer, with the Felony Warrant team, as a Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Team, with the Crime Free Multi-Housing unit and as a Robbery investigator. Ramirez was promoted to Detective in 2002, where he has served with the West County Narcotics Task Force and in the Property unit. Ramirez is assigned to Field Operations, North Neighborhood Policing Center.

Detective La Vall Nelson grew up in Chicago before joining the U.S. Marines as an aviation electrician, reaching the rank of Sergeant. In 1993, he joined the Orange County Sheriff’s department as Deputy Sheriff; he joined the Riverside Police Department in 1996, where he worked undercover assignments with the gang and narcotics units before taking up his assignment in Patrol. Nelson also served as a Field Training Officer and with the Mobile Field Force Team. Most recently, he was assigned as the School Resource Officer for Ramona High School. Nelson is currently assigned to the Central Policing Area. Nelson holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from DeVry University.

Detective Charles Payne was raised in Riverside and is a 1992 graduate of Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley. His first work in law enforcement was with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Jurupa Valley station as a non-sworn task force member. He put himself through the Riverside Sheriff’s Academy and was hired as a Police Officer by the Riverside Police Department in 2000. Assigned to Field Operations, Payne served in Patrol, with the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Team, Bike Team and Mobile Field Force. He was promoted to Detective in June 2006 and is assigned to the East Neighborhood Policing Center. Detective Payne holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, both from California State University-San Bernardino.

Detective Laura Riso grew up in the San Fernando Valley community of Granada Hills. She was graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1991 with a degree in Communications and pursed a six-year career in corporate marketing and advertising before turning her attention to law enforcement. She obtained Department of Justice Criminal Intelligence Specialist certification in 1998 and first interned with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Riverside County District Attorney as an Investigative Technician in 1999. She graduated from the RSO Academy and became a sworn officer with Riverside Police Department in 2001. She has served in patrol, with the University Neighborhood Enhancement Team (UNET), the Mobile Field Force and as Field Training Officer. Detective Riso is assigned to Central Neighborhood Policing Center Investigations.

Detective Willie Rodriguez started his law enforcement career in 1990 with the New York City Police Department. For seven years, he worked Patrol in Brooklyn as well as various undercover, plainclothes, and decoy assignments. Rodriguez later was assigned to NYPD’s elite Organized Crime Control Bureau, where he was promoted to the rank of Detective in 1997. Rodriguez was recognized with the National Association of Police Organization’s prestigious Top Cop Award in 2003 for his role saving a child from a dangerous criminal. In 2002 Detective Rodriguez retired early from the NYPD to join the Riverside Police Department, where he has served a Police Officer in Patrol and with the Community Policing Unit. Detective Rodriguez is assigned to the West Neighborhood Policing Center.

Detective Felix Soria grew up in Riverside and graduated from Arlington High School in 1987. He took reserve officer courses while working as a private security guard at the Tyler Mall before attending the Riverside Sheriff’s Academy in 1994. After a brief stint as a Reserve Deputy, Soria became a Riverside Police Officer in 1994. His assignments included Field Training Officer, SWAT/METRO and School Resource Officer at John W. North High School. Soria was promoted to Detective in June 2006 at is assigned to the East Neighborhood Policing Center.