Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin to retire, ending 32-year career at agency


Editor’s note: This just in, a news release from the City of Garden Grove:

Police Chief Todd Elgin has notified Garden Grove City Manager Scott Stiles of his decision to retire from the City of Garden Grove after 32 years of service to the Garden Grove community. His official retirement date is April 20, 2019.

“It’s been my deepest privilege to serve this great city for my entire law enforcement career. I will never forget what this community has meant to me, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank them for their many years of trust and support. I know the community will continue to place that same trust in the Garden Grove Police Department, which will always be here to protect and serve at the highest level of excellence,” says Chief Elgin, who was profiled by Behind the Badge when he became chief.

Elgin was Garden Grove’s 12th police chief, beginning his law enforcement career in 1987 as a Garden Grove police recruit. He graduated as an honor cadet before becoming a police officer in 1988. In 1998, he was promoted to sergeant, in 2002 to lieutenant, in 2008 to captain, and on Jan. 1, 2015, to chief.

Todd Elgin photo courtesy of the Garden Grove PD

During his tenure as chief, Elgin made it his goal to increase the number of sworn police officers needed to adequately serve the community. Garden Grove is the fifth largest city in Orange County, with one of the lowest police-to-population ratios.

Following the passage of the 1 percent sales tax increase last November, the City announced the immediate hiring of additional police personnel that will bring the total number of sworn officers to 179—the highest in the history of the police department.

In this file photo, Brian Dalton, president of the Garden Grove Police Association, left, stands with Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin during a GGPA awards banquet.
File photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Chief Elgin is also credited with expanding the department’s K9 unit and creating the Special Resource Team (SRT) homeless task force, which has been recognized by the state as a model program for cities around the nation.

“Chief Elgin has built a remarkable career in Garden Grove that has enriched our city, community, and generations of Garden Grove police personnel. It’s hard to see him go, but comforting to know that our police department is strong and moving further ahead, thanks to his exceptional guidance. I wish him the very best retirement has to offer,” says Stiles.

According to Stiles, he anticipates an internal appointment to take place over the next few weeks.

File photo of Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC