Longtime Watsonville officer and Acting Assistant Chief of Police Jorge Zamora has been selected to serve as Watsonville’s new Chief of Police.
The confirmation of Zamora comes after an extensive and highly visible recruitment process, which included an interview panel with community partners, business owners, and law enforcement professionals, followed by administrative interviews conducted by city administrators.
“Through the process Jorge demonstrated his in-depth knowledge and understanding of our community and his clear vision to support, develop, and lead the police department in future years,” said City Manager Protempore Tamara Vides.
Zamora was born and raised in the City of Watsonville and first set foot in the Watsonville Police Department in 1991 as a police cadet. In 1996, he was hired as a full-time Watsonville Police Officer. Since then, he has had an outstanding record of service to the Watsonville community.
“My approach to policing is simple: lead with integrity, self-compassion, competency, and courage,” said Zamora. “Do the right things for the right reasons, treat all people with respect and fairness, set high standards for myself and the organization, and be accountable through transparency.”
Once sworn in, Zamora will become the 16th Chief of Police for the City of Watsonville and the first, first-generation Mexican-American to hold this role.
“It is great to see a native of our Community have the opportunity to lead the police department,” said newly seated Mayor Ari Parker. “Jorge, along with his many years of experience, training, and education that will position him well to lead our men and women of the Watsonville PD, understands the needs of our city and the challenging expectations residents have of the police."
In his 25 years of service, Zamora has served in various assignments including patrol, gang and narcotic enforcement, S.W.A.T., detectives, field training officer, hostage negotiations, walking beat, Regional Occupational Program instructor, and youth mentorship. He most recently served as a police representative on the City’s Ad-HOC Committee on Policing and Social Equity, where he worked alongside community members to gain a deeper understanding on how the police department and the city can better serve its residents.
Zamora attended many local schools and graduated from Radcliff Adult School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute & University and a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California.
His appointment follows the retirement of Chief of Police David Honda, who served Watsonville from 2016 through 2021.