Anaheim Police Chief John Welter Announces Retirement

John WelterThis came over the transom a little while ago:


ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 1, 2013) Anaheim Police Chief John Welter today announced his retirement from the Anaheim Police Department effective May 16, 2013, following a 42-year career in law enforcement, including nine years as Chief of Police for the City of Anaheim. 

As Police Chief, Welter led law enforcement, safety and security operations for California’s 10th largest city, including oversight of residential areas, business centers, and the City’s internationally recognized sports, entertainment and convention venues – Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim, the Anaheim Convention Center, and the Anaheim Resort.

“Chief Welter’s dedication to the City of Anaheim is to be commended, and on behalf of the entire City Council, our thanks for his service to Anaheim’s residents, businesses and guests over these past nine years,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.  “Anaheim was founded in 1857 as a small community.  Today Anaheim is a thriving and diverse city.  It takes strong leadership to keep Anaheim safe, and John Welter has provided that and more.  Our congratulations to him and his family.”

“Chief Welter has had a positive impact on the City of Anaheim,” said City Manager Bob Wingenroth.  “John is a man of integrity and character. He has a heart of compassion for the community and consistently proved to be a strong leader to his officers and civilian staff.  He is an inspiration to many, from his Explorers and senior volunteers, to residents, to business leaders.  On behalf of the City of Anaheim, we offer our sincere appreciation, and we wish him and his wife Terri all the best on this new chapter in his life.”

Welter began his career with the San Diego Police Department, rising to the position of Executive Assistant Chief (second in command).  Upon joining Anaheim on March 22, 2004 as the City’s 31st Chief of Police, he quickly implemented his vision for the department’s mission, vision and values with an emphasis on innovation, best practices, crime prevention, and community engagement. 

During his tenure, Welter led his department through periods of change and transformation, including the enhancement of law enforcement through technological advancements, initiating dialogue between the community and the police department, as well as his introduction of community oriented policing, a model used by agencies worldwide.

His innovative practices include:

·         Establishment of the Chief’s Advisory Board, a group of community leaders who through direct access to the Chief present ideas and recommendations based on community input.

·         Implementation of the Anaheim Family Justice Center (now the Orange County Family Justice Center), a highly-valued service to women, men and children caught in the cycle of abuse.  The Center is also a leader in elder abuse investigation for the County.

·         Engagement between officers and the community, and this past year alone led and participated in more than 150 community meetings for the purpose of hearing directly from Anaheim’s residents.

Training and education are hallmarks of Welter’s career.  The FBI sent him to Russia to train their police executives on police management and leadership.  From 2000-2006 he consulted and trained police executives in Hungary, the Ukraine, Sweden, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Columbia and Romania.  Welter trained many police departments throughout the State on community oriented policing and problem solving.  He continues to teach executive development courses throughout the State.

The Anaheim Police Department currently employs 350 sworn officers, and an overall staff of 684. 

For more information on the Anaheim Police Department please visit

For more information on the City of Anaheim please visit


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  1. Congratulations and thank you for keeping Anaheim and the surrounding cities safe. Your leadership was felt throughout the county, state and even the world. You leave behind some big shoes to fill but I wish you the best and hope you enjoy a well deserved retirement. In a day when people question our pensions, it should be noted that you devoted over four decades of service to keeping your communities safe. You are truly respected, admired and liked by many people from the citizens to the professional police officers you led as Chief of Police. Thank you for your service to all you had an impact of serving, protecting and leading.
    Jeff Krutsinger

  2. I think we have had the best Police Chief in Orange County. He always stood by the law-abiding residents and fought hard against gangs in our city. A true leader.

  3. Chief Welter restored police credibility in Anaheim and deserves the highest praise for arresting and legitimately charging street-gang terrorists. In less than one year, Most Pauline, Eastside, Ponderosa, La Fabrica and Citron gangsters are in prison serving long term sentences or have fled Anaheim for Tijuana and Pheonix Arizona. Thank you Chief Welter for removing gangs from Anaheim.

  4. Chief Welter was a national figure among Police Chiefs and he lead over a time of peace and prosperity despite recent unrest. Chief Welter was there every day for all residents as a champion of the Anaheim Family Justice Center, Cops for Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, GOALS and you always knew he and his wife would be at every community event. The Chief established the community advisory board for APD when he first arrived, including community members hostile to the city. When the unrest happened, he was there at every forum meeting with the impacted residents for hours even when they screamed the most vile things at him. Chief Welter left a lasting footprint that will hopefully inspire others that follow in his footsteps.

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