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Elk Grove Police Chief Tim Albright

Elk Grove Police Chief Tim Albright announced on Jan. 3 that he plans to retire this spring.

The city’s fourth police chief is ending his 32-year public service career that includes 16 years in the Elk Grove Police Department and a Silver Star for rescuing a family from a burning house.

“I’ve achieved everything that I wanted to achieve in the profession,” he told the Citizen.

Albright will begin working with City Manager Jason Behrmann to find Elk Grove’s next police chief. He is currently set to leave the police force in late March.

Albright succeeded Bryan Noblett as police chief in 2019 after Behrmann chose the then-Elk Grove police captain among six finalists from across the United States. He went on to manage the Elk Grove police during the past two challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Chief Albright has done an incredible job leading our police department,” Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen said in a press statement. “He has supported programs that have better connected law enforcement with our community, and we are a strong and safer city thanks to his leadership.”

Albright mentioned a principle of Robert Peel, the founder of the London Metropolitan Police, when asked about his advice for Elk Grove’s future police chief.

“The people are the police, and the police are the people,” he said. “I think that’s good advice for moving forward.”

Albright reflects on work for EGPD

Albright joined the Elk Grove police in 2006 after the city ended its police services contract with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Elk Grove’s first police chief, Robert Simmons asked the then-Sacramento County sheriff’s sergeant to help create their police department’s K9 program.

“As I look back, it was the best professional decision I ever made,” Albright told the Citizen in 2019. “Certainly at the time, it came with a lot of angst because I was born and raised in the sheriff’s department - it was what I knew. But I saw the opportunities to police in the city I call home.”

Albright worked his way up to captain and he earned honors such as three Bronze Stars and three Life-Saving Medals. A Bronze Star was awarded to him after he pursued a domestic violence suspect on Highway 99 and grabbed him when the suspect tried to jump off a freeway overpass. The suspect survived his fall after he wiggled out of his jacket and dropped to the pavement below.

Albright reported to Noblett for 10 years in the Elk Grove police. Before he was sworn as police chief, he told the Citizen that his mentor taught him how to be a collaborative leader.

During his Jan. 4 interview, he mentioned Noblett’s “Feeding the Squirrel” philosophy for the police’s interactions with their local community.

 “You have to be delicate, you have to be intentional in recognizing that (relationship) can be lost if you’re not invested in the development of trust,” he said. “I think it’s remaining true to those ideas.”

A few months after he became the Elk Grove police chief, Albright faced the challenge of leading his department during the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after Bobby Davis was sworn in as assistant police chief on March 2, 2020, Albright and his staff met with Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kaisrye who explained the COVID-19 situation. A resident at an Elk Grove senior complex was one of Sacramento County’s earliest COVID-19 cases.

Albright said that he’s overall pleased with how his police staff operated during the pandemic.

“I’m proud of what we were able to do during (the pandemic),” Albright said. “Not only caring for the community, but also caring for our staff so they may be healthy to serve the community and then maintaining and really fostering the relationships in our environment with that community.”

The police chief is now working on his annual report on Elk Grove’s crime data from 2021 - he hopes to present it to the Elk Grove City Council either next month or in early March. Data from this report was unavailable for the Citizen’s review, as of press time.

Albright told the Citizen that the city’s crime in 2021 was relatively flat compared to the increases in crime reported in other communities in Sacramento County. He credited the work of the police staff as well as community members in addressing crime.

“We have a very involved community that is willing to partner with us and make us aware of crimes, sometimes before they occur; and an engaged staff that is always finding new ways of not only solving crime, but putting those barriers in place that might not make this an attractive place for those who are intent on criminality,” Albright said.

Last year, the Elk Grove community experienced four homicides, which the police chief considers to be an “anomaly.” The city typically had fewer homicides every year. Investigators arrested suspects in most of 2021’s homicides that included last June’s shooting in a hotel parking lot.  

The police chief said that he’s proud of his staff’s work in upgrading their technologies and accomplishing their work with drone cameras and the Real Time Information Center that uses live street cameras to help investigators track down suspects.

Albright also complimented the work of the Police Chief’s Advisory Board that is composed of Elk Grove residents.

“I get to hear the problems in their infancy stage from our community and have the ability, by virtue of that advisory board, to be nimble enough to address those issues,” he said.

In explaining his decision to retire, Albright said that he was pleased with the Elk Grove police’s status and he wanted to spend more time with his family. He noted that he has a daughter in college as well as two children in high school.

“I really felt over the past six months that as an organization we are on an incredible trajectory in really being innovative in embracing technology and being smarter with how we do business and support our community,” Albright said. “That was the impetus in recognizing that the organization is in a good place, and recognizing that my family is in a good place, and recognizing there is a whole another chapter in my world and I’m looking forward to engaging earnestly with my family.”

He said that he desires to teach again at California State University, Sacramento where he taught criminal justice classes. He’s also considering volunteer work as well as coaching sports teams.

Albright said that he ultimately wants to see Elk Grove’s next police chief and other leaders bring more innovations to the police force.

“I really look forward to being on the sidelines, and being incredibly supportive and engaged as a resident of the city of Elk Grove,” the police chief said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how this leadership cadre will take Elk Grove to even greater heights.”