CATHEDRAL CITY – Police Chief Travis Walker was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday and is under investigation for a personnel issue, Mayor Mark Carnevale confirmed for Uken Report.
Carnevale said he could not discuss the reason behind the move, but vowed there will be a “neutral.team” that will conduct a professional inquiry. That could take up to three months, the mayor said. The investigation could begin as soon as next week.
Police Chief Walker’s leave comes as he was scheduled to address the City Council on Wednesday to discuss a General Fund Allocation for Homeless Services.
In December, Police Chief Walker led the formal dedication of the Fallen Police Officer Memorial. The Memorial honors the lives of fallen officers and recognizes the sacrifice that their families bear for the protection of the community.
Walker was instrumental in leading a successful Gun Buyback Program last year.
He has been a staple of the Annual Shop with a Cop program. For at least three decades the Cathedral City Police Department has hosted “Shop with a Cop” for children in the community who might not have the best of holidays for various reasons.
Throughout the year, as police officers patrol the streets and neighborhoods and go out on calls, they make note of a family who might need a hand up during the holidays.
With financial donations from businesses – and cash gifts from police officers — the Police Department buys Target gift cards to distribute to the identified children.
Deputy Chief Anthony Yoakum will serve as acting chief during the Walker investigation.
The department has about 51 sworn officers and 32 professional staff employees. Cathedral City has about 54,000 people. It is the second largest community in the Coachella Valley.
Police Chief Walker joined the Cathedral City Police Department in September of 2016, as the Deputy Chief of Police. Walker was name chief after Chief George Crum retired in November 2017.
Prior to joining Cathedral City Police Department, he spent 22 with the San Bernardino Police Department, where he worked a variety of assignments throughout his career; to include Patrol, Bicycle Mounted Enforcement, Narcotics, Gangs, K9, Specialized Enforcement Bureau, and various Detective, Supervisor, and Management Assignments. He also served as the Tactical Commander during the 2015 terror attack in the city of San Bernardino.
According to the city’s website, Police Chief Walker has taught the following law enforcement courses: Problem Oriented Policing, Terrorism Response and Investigation, Gang / Drug Investigations, Hostage Negotiation, Active Shooter Response, National Incident Management System, and Incident Command System. He is a sought after speaker for a variety of public safety & tactical conferences, and he teaches SWAT Command Decision-Making & Leadership for the National Tactical Officers Association. He currently serves as an Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation, is a critical incident management/response subject matter expert for California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), and is the Region 8 rep for the California Association of Tactical Officers.
- Children Shop With Cathedral City Cops: Cindy Uken
- Anthony Yoakum: Cathedral City Police Department
- Travis Walker: City of Cathedral City