Q&A: With new Auburn Police Chief Ryan Kinnan

18-year law-enforcement veteran arrives from Citrus Heights PD
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Taking the oath of office today, new Auburn Police Chief Ryan Kinnan comes from Citrus Heights, one of the newest cities in the state, to one of the oldest.

Kinnan was sworn in late this morning in front of new friends and colleagues in Auburn and old friends and colleagues from Citrus Heights, where he served 12 years with that city’s police department, rising to the rank of lieutenant.

Before that he was with the Ventura Police Department, working as a canine handler. And before starting in law enforcement, Kinnan served four years in the U.S. Marines as a parachute regular.

Speaking at his swearing-in ceremony, Kinnan talked about the noble nature of a career in public safety but also work he considers fun.

“It’s a fun job,” Kinnan said. “Not jumping-out-of-airplane fun but still fun.”

The Journal asked Kinnan about the job ahead and his thoughts on policing:   


Journal:   Community policing was an important part of your role with the Citrus Heights Police Department. What facets of that are you bringing to Auburn and what does community policing mean to you.

Kinnan: I was fortunate to learn what community policing means and implement many of the concepts during my time with Citrus Heights. A large part of community policing is showing the community they have a voice with their police department and we listen to their concerns. In my experiences, there is another layer to the community policing philosophy and that is Problem-Oriented Policing. This is the strategy session of community policing and is how community issues are addressed by bringing the various stakeholders and those impacted by the issue together.ether to identify ways to solve the problem in the short term and long term.

Journal:  Tell us about your background in policing. How did you get into law enforcement? Is it a tradition in your family? Your career with Citrus Heights P.D.?

Kinnan: I have been in law enforcement for over 18 years and started my career as a police officer in the city of Ventura, after I finished my enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps. I knew I wanted to find a career that was exciting and challenging. I found both of those in law enforcement. As a police officer, you are faced with a wide variety of challenges and it makes the job new and exciting every day.

I was fortunate to be a part of the startup agency in Citrus Heights. It was a great opportunity and I gained such a tremendous amount of experience throughout my time there. I was able to be a part of all aspects of policing, such as patrol, investigations, community policing, and professional standards. I was also mentored and worked for some pretty talented leaders while working there. This profession is made up of so many noble people and I am proud to be among them.


Journal:  What are your impressions of Auburn. What are its strengths in relation to your work? And what are its challenges?

Kinnan: The city of Auburn is an amazing community and has been so welcoming to me as the new police chief. The police department is made up of very professional and skilled people. I have a strong staff of sworn officers and a very skilled team of dispatchers, community service officers, and volunteers. I am excited to work here and be a part of the community and the police department.

The city has so many strengths, but the one that will be a strong benefit is the community engagement. We have so many people that want to help and be a part of the community improvement. This will be relationship will be significant because we need the help from our community to do our job better. I have always believed the community are the “eyes and ears” for the police department and encourage the community to report crime and suspicious activity.


Journal:   Outside your work as a police chief, what are your interests? Family?

Kinnan: I am a father of four children and spend much of my time coaching football and being at my children’s events throughout the year. I enjoy tinkering and woodworking on my time off. Currently, I am in the process of remodeling my new home.


Journal: How can the public help you and the APD in keeping the city safe and secure?

Kinnan: As noted earlier, the residents and business community are the eyes and ears for the police department. We cannot do our job to the best of our abilities if we are not communicating with each other on our expectations and capabilities. I know I will be reaching out to the various service clubs and community groups throughout the community over the next couple months to talk about my philosophies on policing and how we will go about it. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media to see what is going on with the police department and city of Auburn.