Chief's Message

Chief of Police- Steve Watson

Hello, Team Eureka! 

I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you a little about my philosophy of policing.  I’ve been with the Eureka Police Department since May 2005.  I began my law enforcement career in 1997 in Santa Cruz where I served with the Sheriff’s Office for 7 years before moving back home to Humboldt County where I was born and raised.  My various assignments over the years have included Patrol, School Resource Officer, Field Training Officer/Supervisor, Problem Oriented Policing Detective-Sergeant, Firearms Instructor, SWAT, Gang Task Force, EPOA Vice President, Public Information Officer, and Commander of the Investigations Division.  I am a 2013 graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute and recently graduated from the inaugural class of the California Police Chiefs Association’s Executive Leadership Institute at Drucker (Claremont Graduate University).  I also attended Bethany College where I obtained a B.A. degree in Leadership and also completed the 5th Year Teacher Education Certification Program (a graduate school level program). Prior to beginning my law enforcement career, I served in Unites States Army (both active duty and Reserve) and attended the Army’s Primary Leadership Development Course. 

I was promoted to Sergeant in 2007 and to Captain in November 2014. My duties as a Captain included command-level responsibility for Service Area 1 which primarily consists of Eureka's core commercial and industrial districts. Geographically, SA 1 covers the regions extending from Broadway west to the bay and from 7th Street north to the bay. SA 1 also encompasses the section between Broadway and Union north of West Harris Street (including the Eureka Mall). As part of my Captain duties, I also oversaw our department’s Criminal Investigations Services bureau (CIS), Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP), Property Section, Training, Mobile Intervention and Services Team (MIST), Reserve Officer and Volunteer programs.  On July 21, 2017, I was appointed Interim Chief of Police of Eureka.

EPD has a long history of proud service to our community beginning around 1858 with the appointment of our first town marshal. Today, EPD is filled with hardworking, dedicated men and women who care deeply about their community. Good leaders are just that because they surround themselves with great people. EPD has great people. We are continuing to evaluate every area of our department and working hard to enhance our proficiency, service, and relationship with the community.  I am a firm believer that public trust is ultimately built and maintained at the ground level--where it matters most--one contact at a time every time. 

I believe that partnership, understanding, and public trust are core tenets of any successful policing program.  It takes a whole community to police one effectively and EPD needs your help.  We can’t throw enough handcuffs at our problems to solve them all through arrests. “Ping-pong” policing doesn’t work. Creative, collaborative crime fighting and prevention is needed. Our greatest ‘force multiplier’ is the people we serve.  You’ll notice I began with the salutation, “Hello, Team Eureka!”  I chose the word “team” because that is what we are and what we need to strive to be. Help us protect and serve you through your vigilance, support, and active community participation.  Let’s work in partnership to innovatively fight crime, improve quality of life, and safeguard the future of Eureka. As Winston Churchill once said, “You make a living by what you earn; you make a life by what you give.

I hope to get to know and work with many more of you over the coming years.

Chief Steve Watson