Message from the Chief

Welcome to the webpage for the Avenal Police Department.

I have the privilege of serving as Avenal Police Chief, alongside the many men and women of the organization.  Prior to coming on board here, I was with Fresno PD for 32 years; 15 years as Deputy Police Chief.  During this time, I worked SWAT, Narcotics, Auto Theft, and Problem Oriented Policing.  In management, I oversaw the department $165 million budget, Internal Affairs, Personnel, Policy and Procedure, Audits and Inspections, Accreditation, Regional Training Center, Discipline and Civil Litigation.  

After retiring in 2018, I served as Delano Police Chief for three years.  In 2020, I was proud of Delano being selected by the Department of Justice as one of 12 agencies across the country as examples of community policing.   California Police Chief magazine covered this accomplishment, covered below. 

California Police Chief's Association - Summer 2021 Magazine

Over my career, I have been a staunch proponent of community policing.  I believe we provide police service only with permission from the community. Because of this fact, it is essential that department members continually make deposits into the emotional bank account of its local community.   This must be done at every level.  Community policing cannot be confined to only a slogan; it must be something felt within the organizational fiber and demonstrated through our behavior.  This must guide our decisions, starting with the people we select to wear the badge.

In closing, I know there is a work to re-build our agency, starting with obtaining sufficient qualified personnel to deliver vital police services, however we are headed in the right direction.  

Long ago, a former boss of mine told me if the leader’s vision did not scare us, it simply was not big enough.  With this in mind, below is my vision of Avenal PD.  How we get there will be something determined after obtaining input from community stakeholders to include department staff and the community.

⁃ We are among the Safest Cities in America

⁃ We have leadership stability at the Avenal Police Department

⁃ We are an attractive agency for recruiting and retention.

⁃ We are an International Model of Police/Community Trust.  

⁃ We have a secure funding source for a new public safety facility.

      - We embrace Employee Wellness


Robert A. Nevárez