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Meet the Rancho Cordova Police Department's Assistant Chiefs of Police
The Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) is proud to announce we now have two Assistant Chiefs of Police to serve our growing community – Lieutenant Chad Lewis and Lieutenant Jeff Schelldorf!
Our Assistant Chiefs are responsible for managing and overseeing the units and officers at RCPD, as well as serving as liaisons between the units and Rancho Cordova’s Chief of Police. A second position was added to further increase the level of support for our team at RCPD.
Meet our Assistant Chiefs of Police!
Lieutenant Chad Lewis
Lieutenant Chad Lewis wanted to be a doctor, and specifically an anesthesiologist, from day one. He studied at Fresno State as a pre-med major and made good grades. However, he was miserable between the school schedule and three part-time jobs, and realized he needed to make a change. He decided to come to Sacramento to take a few criminal justice classes; he got hooked, and never looked back.
Lieutenant Lewis took a reserve police officer academy certification course and enrolled at California State University, Sacramento where he changed his major to criminal justice. He moved to Rancho Cordova and started working at Foundation Health in the community. He even proposed to his wife on the Sunrise Pedestrian Bridge!
In 1993, he applied for and was accepted into the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Academy. He worked full-time at Foundation Health during the day and attended the Sheriff’s Academy at night and on Saturdays. He graduated as the most outstanding recruit and was hired by the Department that same year with the goal to become a SWAT Officer.
Over his 25-year career, Lieutenant Lewis has worked in Patrol, Main Jail and Branch Jail, Problem Oriented Policing, the Communications Center, Special Operations, Air Operations and SWAT.
One of the most defining moments in Lieutenant Lewis’ career was in 2000 when he applied for both air operations and SWAT, as the tests were being conducted around the same time. He was added to the waitlist for SWAT, and was selected to Air Operations as a Tactical Flight Officer and later a Crew Chief and training officer for air operations. He loved everything about the role and felt it was a natural fit for him.
Two years later, Lieutenant Lewis, who at the time was a Deputy, was called to the Lieutenant’s office and asked if he wanted to go to pilot training. He immediately said yes to the five-year commitment. But the Lieutenant stopped him and said, “Hold on. You have a decision to make. The Tactical Commander wants you to come to SWAT.”
“Every decision I had made up to that point in my career was with that goal in mind,” said Lieutenant Lewis. “So I gave up my wings and joined SWAT.”
Lieutenant Lewis served in SWAT for a total of 14 years in his career, as a Deputy Operator and Sniper, Sergeant Team Leader and Lieutenant Tactical Commander. Through the years, he participated in over 1,400 high-risk entries and spontaneous tactical events, often as the first person on the team through the door.
“I don’t want bad things to happen in this world, but I know they will,” said Lieutenant Lewis. “When they do, I want to be the first one there to fix the problem and make it better. This is what drove me in SWAT and has continued to drive me today.”
Another memorable moment in his career was coming full circle back to Rancho Cordova as the Assistant Chief of Police for RCPD in July 2017.
“It felt like going away to college and coming home again,” Lieutenant Lewis said. “The Rancho Cordova Police Department is an inspiring place to work. We have an all-star team and the support of the community. In the last month, I can’t think of a time I have been in the community and haven’t been stopped by a resident to be told thank you.”
In his role, Lieutenant Lewis oversees the Patrol Division, Administration team and Youth Services Unit.
Lieutenant Jeff Schelldorf
Lieutenant Jeff Schelldorf grew up in Sacramento in a law enforcement family. His stepfather was a Deputy Sheriff, and his mother was a Dispatcher with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
At 21 years old, Lieutenant Schelldorf wanted to see what a career in law enforcement might look like for him, so he went to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s Reserve Academy and became a volunteer reserve officer for a few years.
In the meantime, Lieutenant Schelldorf enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and deployed overseas on active duty. When he returned in 1998, he applied for and was hired as a Records Officer with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
In 1999, Lieutenant Schelldorf realized he wanted to become an officer, so he attended and graduated from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Academy. In 2000, he was hired with the Department.
“In the Academy, I realized that this was a family, not just a job, and a place I wanted to be the next 25 or more years,” he said.
Over the next 13 years, he worked at the Main Jail, California Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Information Center Task Force, contract City of Citrus Heights, Patrol, Detectives, Airport Division, IMPACT Division and Communications Bureau.
In September 2013, Lieutenant Schelldorf joined RCPD as the Administrative Training Sergeant overseeing training programs for officers, special programs and planning for special events. In addition, he partnered with then-Chief and Assistant Chief of Police to start the Crime Suppression Unit, a highly proactive team funded by the City of Rancho Cordova’s Community Enhancement Fund that focuses on enforcement in high crime areas in Rancho Cordova, and he oversaw the unit.
“Before coming to the Rancho Cordova Police Department, I had never worked in this area and didn’t know what to expect,” said Lieutenant Schelldorf. “I quickly realized how engaged the community was in their city and how supportive they were of the Rancho Cordova Police Department.”
In 2015, Lieutenant Schelldorf was assigned to the IMPACT Division as the Gang Sergeant covering the area south of the American River, including Rancho Cordova. In 2016, he was promoted to Lieutenant and worked at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center as the Watch Commander.
In 2017, Lieutenant Schelldorf returned to RCPD as a Watch Commander for the Patrol Division Day Shift, managing and overseeing four sergeants and 18 officers for RCPD and the East Division.
Lieutenant Schelldorf feels fortunate for the opportunity to have been selected for the newly-created Assistant Chief of Police position.
“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be selected for this new position and be involved in building positive leadership and vision for the Rancho Cordova Police Department,” said Lieutenant Schelldorf. “The officers are extremely talented and have outstanding work ethic. In addition, it helps coming to work every day knowing you have the community’s support.”
In his new role, Lieutenant Schelldorf oversees Community Services and Investigations, which includes, Problem Oriented Policing Unit, Crime Suppression Unit, Detectives, Crime Analysts, and the Traffic Unit.
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