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Sonoma County Sheriff's captain named SRJC police chief

Santa Rosa Junior College officials announced Thursday that a veteran captain with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office will head the campus police department.

Matthew McCaffrey will take over as police chief after 29 years with the Sheriff's Office, SRJC President Frank Chong said.

McCaffrey's appointment ends a two-year search for a permanent replacement for former Police Chief Terry Stewart, who retired in 2010 after 34 years leading the force.

McCaffrey actually started the job one week ago, but his appointment will be made official Oct. 9 by the college's Board of Trustees.

Chong said McCaffrey was chosen because he is a veteran of a local agency, "knows the local community, is articulate and collaborative."

"We have shrinking resources and we need to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies. Matt has the ability to do that because he knows the other law enforcement leaders in the county and region."

McCaffrey, 50, was born and raised in Healdsburg. His interest in law enforcement grew after he enrolled at SRJC in 1980 and began studying criminal justice. A friend helped him get a part-time position with the Sheriff's Office that grew into a career.

McCaffrey was promoted to captain about six years ago, he said. As captain, he oversaw field divisions such as the patrol and helicopter units as well as special services, including the gang enforcement team and bomb squad.

McCaffrey said he expects to continue working another 10-15 years and wanted a new challenge.

"I started to get an itch," he said.


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