You might think that twin brothers Kevin and Kim Raney, both police chiefs in their respective departments, grew up playing cops and robbers, and dreamed about becoming the town sheriff.
They have escalated to the top in their field, but neither Kim nor Kevin considered a career in law enforcement until high school, when they were mentored in a class taught by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at Lakewood High in Long Beach.
“Being a police chief was not something we set out to be when we were brothers growing up,”said Kevin Raney, Garden Grove’s Police Chief. “We both made the decision at about the same time that we did want to pursue a career in law enforcement, independent of each other …we got in at about the same time, but we really went our separate ways in our careers.”
“There was a group of us who played high school football together, and a lot of us ended up being cops,”said Covina Police Chief Kim Raney, who also laced it up on the gridiron at Long Beach City College, before landing at the Covina Police Department as a police officer in 1977. “There were six of us and we were all tight, and we all ended up in law enforcement, either police or sheriff department. We’re all in California, five in Southern California and one in Northern California.”
They are the only twin-brother police chiefs in California, and are believed to be only the second set of twins in U.S. history to become police chiefs at the same time, following identical twin brothers James Peach (Kent, Ohio Police Chief) and John Peach (Kent State University Police Chief). The city of Kent and Kent State University have separate police departments, but frequently communicate. The twins headed their departments for several years, prior to James Peach’s retirement in 2010.
As for the Raney twins, Kim Raney has been the Covina Police Chief since 2001. “It’s been a great ride,”he said.
Kim Raney has enjoyed a highly decorated career, which includes having served as President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association and on myriad boards of directors that focus on furthering the interests of local youth and leadership in the policing profession. He also served as President of the California Police Chiefs Association’s Board of Directors in 2013.
Honored as the Covina Police Officer of the Year in 1997, Kim Raney has held several positions in the department and received numerous community and department awards, including the Lifesaving Medal and the Distinguished Service Award. His hobbies are lifting weights and “any connections to sanity,” he quipped.
Kim Raney and his wife, Stacy, have three adult children.
Kevin Raney began his career with the Garden Grove Police Department in 1976 as a 19-year-old police cadet. After climbing the ranks from police officer to sergeant, lieutenant and captain, he was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2005. In January 2011, Kevin Raney was asked to fill the department’s highest position by becoming Garden Grove’s 11th Chief of Police.
“I never thought about being a police chief,” he said. “I never sought it out as being a career goal.”
Kevin Raney, who graduated from the Police Officers Academy at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, is credited with initiating the opening of the Garden Grove Police Department’s Juvenile Justice Center in 1998. The center is a collaborative effort between the Police Department and the Garden Grove Unified School District that focuses on reaching at-risk youth at the earliest possible stage.
Being a police officer is a dangerous job, but the twins take heart to a noble profession. “You’re a target just putting on the uniform,”Kevin Raney said.
Kevin Raney and his wife, Donna, have two sons, Bill and John. Bill serves as a police sergeant for Irvine, and John is a police officer for Garden Grove. “I’m just happy they got into something they enjoy,”Kevin Raney said of his sons.
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Note: This story was first published in the California Police Chiefs Association’s magazine.