City of Imperial begins recruitment for new police chief


IMPERIAL - The Imperial City Council approved a contract with Bob Murray & Associates to begin the recruitment for a new chief of police, according to a press release. The position of chief falls into the category of a contract employee with the city and reports directly to the city manager.

This position was previously held by Miguel Colon, Jr. In the interim, the Imperial Police Department is under the administration of Acting Deputy Chief Leonard J. Barra and Acting Deputy Chief Mario Luna.

Barra has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, said the press release. He has been with the Imperial Police Department since 2000. During his tenure, he has served as the School Resource Officer, DARE Officer, a member of the SWAT team, Detective, Supervisor of the Imperial County Narcotic Task Force (ICNTF) and Supervisor of the ICNTF Gang Unit. He currently serves as the Administrative Sergeant for the Department and is president of the Imperial County Gang Intelligence Coalition.

Acting Deputy Chief Mario Luna is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He has been involved in law enforcement since 1997, served an officer since 2004 and has been employed with the city of Imperial since 2006, said the release. During his time with IPD, Luna has served as the School Resource Officer, a member of the SWAT team, Department Range Master-Firearms Instructor, Detective of Narcotics with the ICNTF in 2011, along with many other accreditations. He was promoted to sergeant of the IPD in 2012.

Barra and Luna assumed acting Deputy Chief duties in April, and since their appointment, the IPD is striving to improve its relationship with the community, the press release said. Currently, the department is in the process of implementing an Explorer Program, a Citizen Volunteer Program, an Officer Reserves Program, and relaunching Neighborhood Watch. Residents can expect to see these programs become available over the next few months, according to the press release.

The press release also asked if anyone is interested in applying for this position they are encouraged to contact Bob Murray & Associates at (916) 784-9080 or visit