This story first appeared here.
POSTED BY: JOELNEWTON
From the City of Edgewater:
Meet our new Chief:
Eric S. Sonstegard!
Assistant Chief Eric S. Sonstegard began his law enforcement career in 1990 as an intern with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. In 1993, he was hired by the Los Angeles School District Police Department and served the students and residents of the Boyle Heights neighborhood in East Los Angeles. He transferred to the Oxnard Police Department in 1996, where he held a wide variety of assignments within the Police Department including Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, K-9 handler, Bike Team member, Patrol Sergeant, Sergeant of the Oxnard Violent Crimes Task Force, Training Sergeant, Professional Standards Commander, Special Operations Commander, Investigations Commander, and Assistant Chief overseeing the Field Services Bureau, Administrative Services Bureau, and the Investigative Services Bureau.
Sonstegard’s contributions while at the Oxnard Police Department were many. He developed & instructed the Department’s nationally recognized Cultural Proficiency curriculum, developed & implemented the county’s first “Summer at City Hall” program, led the Department transition to a jiu-jitsu based defensive tactics program, led the implementation of the county’s first “Community Camera” program, developed & implemented the Department’s Asset Forfeiture Community Funds Grant program, and fostered employee camaraderie and morale by serving as team captain/department coordinator for the Baker to Vegas relay team and Corporate Games team.
Sonstegard was a champion for leadership within the Oxnard Police Department. He attended the 10-week long intensive FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He also attended the 9-month long intensive Sherman Block Leadership Institute, the P.O.S.T. Executive Development course, and served as the 2020 President of the F.B.I. National Academy Associates California Chapter.
Over the course of his career, Sonstegard has received numerous awards and commendations including: over twenty (20) awards at regional K-9 competitions with K-9 “Argos”, 2012 Chief’s Award of Excellence, 2013 Oxnard P.A.L. Special Honoree, 2014 Salvation Army Volunteer of the Year, and the 2018 National Police Clergy Council Community Caring Award.
He holds a B.S. degree in Administration of Justice from California Lutheran University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge. In the summer of 2013, he served as a youth counselor at the F.B.I.N.A.A Youth Leadership Program at Quantico, Virginia. He was born and raised in Ventura County and has three children with his wife, Carrie, who is a kindergarten teacher. He is a former board member of the Oxnard/Port Hueneme Salvation Army Corps, a 20-year member of the Oxnard Sunrise Rotary Club, and most importantly….a diehard fan of the Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Alabama Crimson Tide Football (Roll Tide!).
Chief Sonstegard will begin with the City of Edgewater in Mid-May.