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Canyon Lake City Council honors Redlands police chief as June Citizen of the Month

Canyon Lake City Council honors Rachel Tolber as June Citizen of the Month. Pictured, from left, are Mayor Pro Tem Dale Welty, Mayor Jeremy Smith, Rachel Tolber, Councilwoman Kasey Castillo, Councilwoman Jennifer Dain, and Councilman Mark Terry. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

The Canyon Lake City Council honored Rachel Tolber as June Citizen of the Month. The Canyon Lake resident was recently appointed chief of police of the Redlands Police Department. Tolber is the first woman in the department’s history to hold this position.

Tolber began her law enforcement career as a student intern with the Redlands Police Department in 1997, performing as a research assistant. The department hired her as a police officer in 1998. She has served the department in a variety of positions, including field training officer, patrol officer and supervisor, detective, investigations supervisor, crisis negotiator, training manager, professional standards, and as a commander overseeing the Special Services Bureau.

Recently appointed chief of police of the Redlands Police Department, Rachel Tolber is the first woman to hold this position in the department’s history. Photo provided by the Redlands Police Department.

During her tenure with the Redlands Police Department, Tolbert was instrumental in developing and implementing the Police and Corrections Team (PACT), a re-entry program for parolees, spearheaded the department’s Citizen Volunteer Park Rangers program, and served as an executive intern at the city manager’s office where she helped lead policy and strategic initiatives adopted and implemented by city executives. She has received civic recognitions and honors for her leadership, work, and service.

Tolber earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Redlands in 1998. In 2006, she earned a master’s degree in criminology, law, and society from the University of California, Irvine. Her research was focused on re-entry.

In 2011, Tober earned a master’s degree in applied criminology from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Her focus there was on restorative justice. Most recently she completed the California POST Command College, a rigorous program focused on futures research and strategic foresight. Her research in the program culminated in an article on data and policing, which was published in the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Police Chief Magazine.

Rachel is pictured with her husband, John, a heavy fire equipment operator for Cal Fire. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

Tolber’s law enforcement background includes extensive collaboration and work with numerous local, state, federal, and international policing agencies and community partners. In addition, she worked with the department’s criminologist and other academic partners on various research projects and grants. Her research interests include re-entry, restorative justice, technology, and women in policing.

Tolber has been a board member of the Home Again Project, Gang Reduction Intervention Team, and Partners Against Violence. She has been an executive fellow with the National Policing Institute (formerly known as the Police Foundation) and a member of the Society of Evidence-Based Policing and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. She graduated from the National Institute of Justice’s LEADS Scholar program in 2019 and continues to be active as an alumna.

Based on her interest and commitment to evidence-based policing, Tolber joined several other colleagues in founding the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP). The ASEBP mission is to advance policing by incorporating the best available evidence-based practices to ensure the least harmful, most effective, fairest, and safest strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm and improve community wellness.

Tolber resides in Canyon Lake with her husband, John, and their young sons. John is a heavy fire equipment operator for Cal Fire, where he has worked for nearly 27 years.

The Canyon Lake Citizen of the Month initiative was created in January 2021 to honor Canyon Lake residents for their service to the community. Each awardee is recognized by the mayor with a certificate. Community members are encouraged to nominate Citizens of the Month by submitting their names and a short paragraph detailing their good work to [email protected]. Residents of all ages are eligible to be nominated for this award. 

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