Appointed Chief of Police for the City of Santa Ana in 1988 after competing in a nationwide search process. Santa Ana Police Department has been recognized since 1997 as a DOJ National Demonstration Site and Training Center for Community Policing and Problem Solving. The city of Santa Ana is one of the most diverse communities in America with a population of over 350,000 residents with a daytime population of over 500,000. It is the ninth largest city in California and the county seat of government for Orange County with a population of over 3 million residents.
Over 40 years of varied and specialized police experience, and over 30 years of command and leadership responsibilities. Trained and assisted numerous police executives and elected officials from throughout the country on how to implement innovative Community Policing strategies in their respective communities.
In 2009 the Department received the Department of Defense National Freedom Award (one of three public agencies nationwide) and was recognized by President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for exceptional leadership, support and personal devotion to the National Guard and Reserve.
As a widely recognized and written-about national innovator and leader in Policing, received Director’s Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for exceptional public service and leadership (only the second person outside the FBI to receive this prestigious award).
Orange County representative serving on the National Advisory Policy Committee for FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Lab (RCFL) Program.
Currently on the Board of Directors for the California Police Chiefs’ Association and Chair of the Major Cities Committee.
Member of the California Executive Board of “Fight Crime, Invest in Kids” a national crime prevention coalition.
Past President and past Secretary/Treasurer of the Orange County Chiefs and Sheriff’s Association.
Chairman, Orange County Regional Narcotics Program (RNSP), a national recognized model for drug task forces with local, state and federal participation.
Executive Board Member, Orange County Integrated Law and Justice JPA, a leading edge hi-tech interagency information sharing project between Police, District Attorney, Probation and the Courts.
Personally recognized several times by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the California Attorney General, the Governor of California and both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for police leadership, innovations and accomplishments.
Chief Walters’ wife, Mary, is a third generation Japanese American whose father was a Physician at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Orange. She and her family (7 siblings and her mom, dad passed away in 1997) have lived in Santa Ana for nearly 50 years.
Son Gary, is a graduate of University of California Irvine (UCI) and a Captain with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Son Michael, Presidential Scholar and Cum Laud graduate of Chapman University, Orange, California. Michael is also a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) with a Master’s in Public Administration. He was an Analyst for the DOJ/FBI at the Joint Drug Intelligence Group (JDIG) prior to attending the OC Sheriff’s Academy. He is currently a Deputy Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Daughter Dani is a graduate of the University of Hawaii majoring in Biology and is currently a Junior High School Teacher in Hawaii.