From the Golden State to Golden Valley: Meet the City’s New Assistant Police Chief
The Golden Valley Police Department has a new assistant chief of police who comes to the Twin Cities northwest suburb from Los Angeles.
Rudy Perez was sworn in during the Golden Valley City Council meeting this Tuesday, among two new hires by the department. Before taking his new position, he was part of the Los Angeles School Police Department for more than 20 years, most recently serving as lieutenant there.
“I came from an agency that is very busy, very, very busy,” said Perez.
Perez says the Los Angeles School Police Department has hundreds of police officers and manages 500,000 students and 34,000 employees.
“There was a lot of experience there, and I want to bring that experience here,” he said.
He says he chose to move to Minnesota due to family connections and the quality of life.
“I had been flying back and forth into Minnesota for about 17 years,” said Perez. “I connected with someone in regards to here, connected with Chief Virgil [Green]. They’re like, ‘hey, send us your stuff, your information,’ and that was part of the process. Happy to be selected.”
Assistant Chief Perez has been on the job since the end of May.
“As assistant chief, my main responsibility is patrol services, so anything that has to do with our community service officers, and our patrol officers that will fall under my direction,” said Perez.
Perez and his family immigrated to the United States from Guatemala when he was 3 years old. He says his background helped shape him.
“Even in the challenges, you have to understand why did I become a police officer, and I’m an immigrant to this country and I lived in a challenging country where law enforcement wasn’t up to par, so my heart and desire, why I became a police officer,” said Perez.
Perez said he’s thankful to how he’s been received in the city.
“I get up every morning and I say I pinch myself because when you come to an organization like Golden Valley, it’s well equipped, it has a beautiful facility, it has great staff,” said Perez.
Golden Valley Police Sergeant Sworn In
The Golden Valley Police Department also added a police sergeant to its command staff. Sgt. Tommy Eam was also sworn in on June 6.
Eam was previously a member of the Metro Transit Police Department.
The swearing-in ceremony came less than a week after the death of Sgt. Terry Sleavin due to cancer.
“First and foremost, rest in peace Terry, wherever you are — you will be missed,” Eam said. “I want to tell you this, for those who are looking for a home, I was pretty welcomed. I was warmed. Even the firefighters, the American heroes, I didn’t know who they were, they came and shook my hands. I was overwhelmed.”
Eam said he plans to be out in the community shaking hands and meeting new people as he settles into his role.
“If you’re germaphobic, I’ll put a glove on,” he laughed.
Reporter Kevin Miller contributed to this story