Police Chief Tracey Stuart is retiring after leading the American Canyon Police Department for the past four years.
The City Council is scheduled next week to formally name Lieutenant Oscar Ortiz with the Napa County Sheriff’s Department as Stuart’s replacement.
Stuart, 50, will officially retire at the end of December. However, she has been on vacation since Oct. 27, and does not intend to resume her duties as chief, according to Ortiz, who has been filling in for her as interim police chief.
“She is technically on vacation but she isn’t planning on returning unless absolutely necessary,” said Ortiz. “She has been checking in with me while we transition.”
Ortiz, 47, has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 20 years. He currently heads the department’s Investigations Unit.
Stuart said she’s retiring “because I’m old enough to retire, and I’ve been in law enforcement since I was 18” years old.
“It’s time to start my next life,” said Stuart.
Interim City Manager Jason Holley said the City Council plans to formally select Ortiz as the new police chief next Tuesday evening, Nov. 28.
Police services performed by the American Canyon Police Department are administered through a contract between the City of American Canyon and the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, which provides both officers and a commander to lead the force.
Ortiz currently holds the rank of lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Department, but will be promoted to captain when he officially becomes police chief.
After Stuart decided to retire, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson recommended two police chief candidates to the City Council for consideration.
On Nov. 13, a three-member special council subcommittee consisting of Mayor Leon Garcia and Councilmembers Kenneth Leary and David Oro interviewed the candidates.
After concluding the interviews, the subcommittee unanimously recommended Ortiz as the next chief. He will officially take over the post effective Jan. 1.
Stuart has been police chief since November 2013. She was the first woman to lead the police department.
Before running the department, Stuart was the Operations Division captain and tactical team commander with countywide responsibilities for the Sheriff’s Office. Her main responsibility was supervising the Operations Division, which includes patrol, investigations, animal services, volunteer auxiliary groups, dive team, explosive ordinance disposal and hostage negotiations.
She succeeded Jean Donaldson, who was promoted to undersheriff. Other prior police chiefs were Brian Banducci, who returned to the Sheriff’s Office and became undersheriff, Doug Koford, who left to become sheriff of Napa County.
Stuart is a 1985 Napa High School graduate. She began her career as a reserve peace officer with the Calistoga Police Department. In 1989, she became a full-time officer in Calistoga and worked there for six more years.
She began working for the Sheriff’s Office in 1995. She was promoted to sergeant in 1998 and to lieutenant in 2007.