Chief of Police - City of San Luis Obispo
Jun 17, 2020
Deanna Cantrell
Chief of Police - City of San Luis Obispo

Deanna started with the San Luis Obispo Police Department as the Chief of Police in January 2016. Prior to this appointment, she was with the Mesa, Arizona Police Department for 21 years. Deanna’s final assignment with Mesa PD was as the Assistant Chief of the Administrative Services Bureau where she oversaw Fiscal, Supply, Fleet, Police Information Technology, Communications, Records and the Forensics

Lab. Deanna also served as the Deputy Chief of Special Operations, as a Patrol Commander, Internal Affairs Lieutenant and Sergeant, Gang and Patrol Lieutenant, a Motor officer in Traffic and several other special operations positions prior to promotion.

Deanna believes that the police exist to make lives better. She developed a deep-rooted history of community engagement and participation while in Mesa, chairing the Diversity Team, serving on the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, the Muslim Police Advisory Board, and as the chair of the Human Rights Forum in Mesa. Deanna has continued that tradition in San Luis Obispo by starting the Police And Community Together (PACT) committee. PACT was awarded the Anti-Defamation League Sherwood Prize in March 2019 for combatting hate. Deanna serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Professional Standards Ethics and Image committee. Currently, she is the Region 12 Representative for the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) Changing the Narrative Committee. Deanna is also the Chair of the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Committee. In 2018, Deanna was selected as a 24th District Congressional Woman of the year.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Technical Education and a master’s degree in Administration from Northern Arizona University. She is a graduate of Northwestern University Police Staff and Command School and the International Association of Chief of Police Leadership in Policing Organizations Training. Deanna is an adjunct faculty member for Northwestern University, teaching policy, contemporary policing, executive image, internal conflict and strategic planning.