OXNARD, Calif. - Oxnard City Manager Alexander Nguyen named Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites as the city's next official Police Chief, effective Dec. 29, 2020.
Benites will replace Chief Scott Whitney who announced earlier this month that he plans to retire from the police department.
“We are very fortunate to have two great chiefs-in-waiting, Eric Sonstegard and Jason Benites, both of whom would be great Chiefs here or in any other city,” said City Manager Nguyen. “It speaks volumes of the quality and excellence of the Oxnard Police Department. The community is very fortunate that Jason is accepting the appointment to be our next Police Chief.”
Benites is a 27-year police department veteran, according to the Oxnard Police Department. He began his career working in the patrol division. He continued to work his way through the ranks and was promoted to Assistant Chief in November of 2006, where he oversaw various department bureaus and supervised staff.
Benites will oversee a department of 356 employees, which includes 238 sworn officers and 118 civilian staff.
Benites’ previous experience included overseeing the Oxnard Violent Crimes Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional team that partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to address gang violence. He was also instrumental in developing the Neighborhood Policing Strategy, a staffing plan whose purpose was to further strengthen the Oxnard Police Department’s neighborhood policing and problem-solving practices.