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Rick Braziel

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COP Talk : Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing
Capt. Rick Braziel  More Info

About the Sacramento Police Department

The Sacramento Police Department has an authorized strength of 797 sworn police officers and 438 civilian personnel.  It is organized into five Offices: Office of the Chief of Police; Office of Operations; Office of Investigations; (note that the Office of Operations and Investigations appear to be merged on the 2007 organizational chart) Office of Technical Services; and, Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security.


The Office of the Chief is responsible for developing and communicating the vision of the Department. This Office plans, organizes, and directs all Department activities. In the Office of the Chief there are three captains, two lieutenants, and two civilian managers who oversee the Internal Affairs Division, Professional Standards Unit, Fiscal Operations, Strategic Planning and Crime Prevention (including Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), Criminal Intelligence Unit, Marketing and Media Relations Unit (including Media Services and Internet Services), Government Affairs, and the administrative staff.


The Office of Operations is responsible for Patrol, Problem Oriented Policing (POP), Neighborhood Crime Prevention, and Metro. The Metro Division is comprised of specialty units such as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Parole Intervention Team (PIT), Air Operations, Traffic, Canine (K-9), Bikes, Regional Transit Police Services (RTPS), Marine, Mounted, Explosive Ordnance Detail (EOD-Bomb Squad), and Reserves. Other units within the Office of Operations include the Major Collision Investigations, Wagon Detail, and Court Liaison Units. This Office has three captains and 15 lieutenants who are responsible for six patrol sectors and the Metro Division. The Office of Operations makes up the largest and most visible segment of the Sacramento Police Department with more than 500 sworn positions.


The Office of Investigations is responsible for developing information leading to the arrest of criminal offenders, preparing cases, processing warrants, recovering stolen property, investigating crime scenes, tracking and investigating gang-related activities, providing school resource officers, locating missing persons, addressing family violence issues, prostitution, gambling, and drug enforcement. The Office has two captains,

four lieutenants, and a civilian manager who oversee the Detective Division (Major Crimes and Property Crimes), the Special Investigations Division, and the Forensic Identification Section.


The Office of Technical Services is responsible for the functions that support the Sacramento Police Department’s line units. The Office has three captains, three lieutenants, and six civilian managers who oversee Personnel and Training, the Joint Powers Authority (JPA), Communications, and the Technology and Information Services Divisions. In addition to personnel and police academy functions, the Personnel and Training Division includes the Background Unit. The JPA oversees multi-agency training at the Academy. The Communications Division includes the Communications Center (Dispatch) and the Communications Academy. The Technology and Information Services Division includes Records, Public Safety Information and Technology, Crime Analysis, Fleet/Supply, and Property.


The Office of Emergency Services & Homeland Security is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional offi ce that is responsible for coordinating Homeland Security and Urban Area Security Initiative grants, conducting regional threat and vulnerability assessments, developing regional and agency terrorism response plans, coordinating and conducting regional interdisciplinary terrorism response training, designing and coordinating training exercises, and organizing volunteers to assist with disaster situations. The Office also coordinates with the Regional Terrorist Threat Assessment Center (RTTAC), the intelligence and analysis Fusion Center, and the Terrorism Liaison Offi cer program. The Regional Community Policing Institute (RCPI) is also an integral part of the Offi ce of Emergency Services & Homeland Security facilitating the instruction of core community—based Homeland Security programs including the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Neighborhood Emergency Training (NET), terrorist awareness presentations, and the Cultural Community Academies. One deputy chief and one lieutenant manage this Office.




Rick Braziel has been a member of the Sacramento Police Department for 28 years, and a Deputy Chief since 2002. In December 2007, he was appointed as chief of police of the Sacramento Police Department.  He is a second generation police officer with his father Dick serving the Department for over 20 years. Rick Braziel consults and instructs for Humboldt State University in Teambuilding, Communication Skills, and Leadership.  He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Communication from California State University, Sacramento.


In 2006, Rick Braziel received a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.  Rick is also a 2002 graduate and class spokesperson of the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Command College; and 2004 graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s (P.E.R.F.) Senior Management Institute for Police.


Rick is co-author of the book titled COP Talk: Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing.  


According to Kevin Brown, of Montana State University-Northern, in the American Communication Journal, “In this text for police officers the authors lay out the basics of the communication process with helpful vignettes derived from actual police experience to illustrate the principles.  The authors lead the reader through a tour of contemporary communication contexts. The authors start with interpersonal communication and cover work groups, public speaking, community meetings, problem solving, network building and finally, public relations.  The book is written for a beginning communication student and reflects an understanding that many police officers have had no formal communication training.”

According to one reader of COP Talk : Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing, “Great use of communication techniques. Police Administrators could also benefit from the insightful information. The format is easy going, Cops will like it. COP Talk fills a void many police officer experience while trying to fulfill their agency's mission. Every police officer knows that their best weapon is not their gun, not their car or not the uniform; but the ability to communicate. Kudos to the authors and their thoughtfulness.”

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