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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Police Chief Shelly Vander Veen to retire

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

On Thursday, Claremont Police Chief Shelly Vander Veen announced she will retire from the department on November 10.

“In her many years with the Department, Chief Vander Veen has proven a dedication to the Claremont community and a commitment to ensuring the safety of all Claremont residents, students, businesses, and visitors. She exemplifies the spirit of community-based policing and has made it her mission to promote a culture of inclusion and respect in the Department,” police department officials said in a statement.

Chief Vander Veen began her career in Claremont in 1993 as a reserve officer but was soon hired full time and working as an officer for seven years during which time she “got to know the community.” In 2000, she was promoted to corporal and assigned to the detective bureau and three years later promoted again to sergeant.

Chief Vander Veen continued to work her way through the ranks serving as a lieutenant for seven years with five years supervising he detective bureau and two as a watch commander. It was during this time she gained experience in managing the budget as well as program and policy management.

On November 28, 2016, Chief Vander Veen was sworn in as Claremont’s Police Chief following the retirement of Paul Cooper.

“Under her leadership for the past five years, the Claremont Police Department has continued to be a respected example of modern policing in Los Angeles County. Her engagement with the community led to the establishment of innovative and compassionate programs and policies for mental health and homeless response calls,” police officials said in a statement.

Chief Vander Veen was honored as officer of the year twice, four times as the police department’s supervisor of the year, and received the city employee of the year award in 2013. She also received the department’s award of excellence three times, along with he police commission distinguished service medal. In 2019, Chief Vander Veen was awarded the 41st Assembly District’s “woman of distinction” by Assemblyman Chris Holden.

“I am incredibly proud and honored to have served the City of Claremont for 28 years, starting off as a Reserve Police Officer in 1993 and ending my career as Police Chief. The integrity, teamwork, and professionalism of our Police Department has been rewarding and inspirational,” Chief Vander Veen said.

Chief Vander Veen grew up in Chino where her family was in the dairy business She received an associate’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Siena Heights University where she was an All American soccer player.

“I would like to express my most sincere thanks to Chief Vander Veen for her years of outstanding service to the community. I have had the pleasure of working with Shelly for over 18 years, and I can honestly say she is one of the most well-respected, hardworking, and caring individuals that I have had the pleasure to work with,” City Manager Adam Pirrie said.

 

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