Police Chief Ken Corney announces retirement

For more than three decades, Chief Corney has served our community with honor and distinction.

After more than 33 years of service with the City of Ventura, Police Chief Ken Corney has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2019. In reflecting on his career, Chief Corney said that “it has been a tremendous honor to work alongside the dedicated men and women of the Ventura Police Department, and to serve our community.”

“For more than three decades, Chief Corney has served our community with honor and distinction. He is a model of integrity and professionalism and it has been an honor to work with him,” stated City Manager Alex McIntyre. “He epitomizes the values of teamwork, leadership and public service. He has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life in our community and responding to the significant public safety issues faced by cities throughout our state. The City of Ventura is a safer community thanks to the work of Chief Corney. He has led the Ventura Police Department with heart and humility transforming the service of the agency.”

Chief Ken Corney joined the Ventura Police Department in 1986. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1995, Commander in January 2000, Assistant Chief in December 2003, and appointed as Police Chief in December 2009.

Mayor Matt told the Breeze “Chief Corney’s intelligence and ability to think outside the box earned him national recognition. And as someone who was raised in this community, he cared deeply about Ventura and his number one priority was always the safety of Ventura residents. He was an incredible Police Chief and he will be sorely missed. But the strength of the department he leaves behind is a true testament to his leadership and professionalism.”

City Manager McIntyre has recommended that City Council selects Chief Corney to serve as the Interim Police Chief while a professional recruitment is conducted to select the next Ventura Police Chief. “The Ventura Police Department has great leadership,” said City Manager McIntyre. “An open recruitment to the process is important for transparency and community input. This process doesn’t preclude an internal selection. The recruitment will help determine the best individual to lead the agency.”

The City will retain a professional recruitment firm to conduct a search in order to find the best candidate to fill the Police Chief position.

Retired Ventura Police Chief and ex-city council member Mike Tracy stated.
“For the last 33 years Police Chief Ken Corney has committed himself 110% in service to the City of Ventura.  It was my great fortune to work with Ken for almost 20 of those years, and I can truly say he is one of the very best. His legacy is evident in the people he has developed, encouraged, and mentored.  Because of his leadership, the Ventura Police Department is prepared to face every future challenge.  My hope for Ken in his retirement is that he will follow in my footsteps and run for City Council—NOT!  Congratulations, Chief Corney, on your many years of exemplary service to our community.  All the Best to you and your family in the years ahead”

Ken Corney moved to Ventura from League City, Texas in 1970 when his father, a Grumman Aerospace engineer, was transferred from the Lunar Module project to the F14 Tomcat jet fighter project. Ken attended elementary school, middle school and high school in Ventura, and Ventura College. After his sophomore year at Ventura College, Ken accepted an athletic scholarship to California University Long Beach where he competed in track and field and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism – Public Relations.

Ken joined the Ventura Police Department in 1986. As an officer he served in the Patrol Task Force, SWAT hostage negotiator and field training officer. He was later promoted to Corporal where he served in patrol and later was as a gang investigator in addition to a collateral assignment as an entry team member of SWAT. Ken was promoted to Sergeant in 1995 and after a tour as a Patrol Sergeant was assigned to the Special Enforcement Team – Gang Enforcement Unit, SWAT Team Leader as well as President of the Ventura Police Officers Association.

Ken was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000 and served as a patrol Watch Commander and later the department’s first Special Operations division Commander where he was responsible for Special Enforcement Team, SWAT Operations and Grant program management. In 2003 Ken was promoted to Assistant Chief and appointed to be the Chief of Police in 2009 by City Manager Rick Cole after the retirement of Chief Pat Miller.

In a previous Ventura Breeze, he was asked what he likes most about Ventura.

“Ventura is truly a post card community – from the ocean to the mountains. We are near enough many of the great things Central and Southern California has to offer, but far enough away to appreciate the uniqueness of our community. When I first arrived in East Ventura in 1970, the City’s population was around 50,000 and the east end was just beginning to develop. The town had the same rural feeling that still exists today. I think the feeling is the same because of the people that call Ventura home. I am blessed to have been provided the opportunity to work and raise my family in Ventura.”

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