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Derrick Watkins

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About the Santa Ana Police Department

The Department has 700 employees providing a variety of police services, in positions as police officers, dispatchers, detention officers, and police service officers.  In addition to the Office of the Chief of Police, the Santa Ana Police Department is organized into five bureaus: Administrative Bureau; Field Operations Bureau; Investigations Bureau; Jail Bureau; and, Technology and Support Bureau.




Derrick Watkins is a retired gang detective from the Santa Ana Police Department, having worked in Los Angeles County prior to Santa Ana. He has focused his career in the area of gangs as a patrol officer, while in major narcotics and as a gang detective. He spent nine years of his career dedicated to criminal street gangs. He is a court-recognized expert in Hispanic and White Supremacist gangs, having testified in the superior and federal courts of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He has conducted training for the California Department of Justice, the State Attorney General, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and numerous local, state, and federal agencies across California and in several neighboring states. He currently works as a private law enforcement consultant regarding the methods and attributes of criminal street gangs across the country.


Derrick Watkins and Richard Ashby are the co-authors of Gang Investigations: A Street Cop’s Guide.  According to the book description, the book “provides a step-by-step guide to gang identification, arrest, search and seizure, prosecution, and other programs that have been used successfully by criminal justice agencies nationwide. Anti-gang strategies are discussed along with the results of their implementation.  This guide will better prepare every police officer and detective to deal with the modern street gang. With Watkins’ and Ashby’s knowledge, departments and officers can develop better strategies to curb gang violence and the fear of street terrorists.”

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