Steve Watson Accepts Job As Eureka’s Police Chief

Feature dsteve watson of the EPD by Mark McKenna

Captain Steve Watson of the Eureka Police Department at a crime scene. [Crop of a photo by Mark McKenna]

Press release from the City of Eureka:

The City of Eureka is pleased to announce that Interim Police Chief Steve Watson has accepted an offer to serve as the Chief of Police for Eureka. The City conducted a nationwide search and has determined that Interim Chief Watson was the best candidate to lead the department and to provide the crucial law enforcement services in the community that our residents expect. “Throughout Steve Watson’s tenure as Captain, and for the past two months as Interim Chief, he has demonstrated leadership, creativity, problem solving, and a deep commitment to the community. I am looking forward to Chief Watson serving our community for many years to come.” -City Manager Greg Sparks.

Interim Chief Watson commented “I hope to get to know and work with you and others over the coming years. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to serve as your Chief of Police”.

Interim Chief Watson began his policing career in 1998 with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, before returning home to accept a position with Eureka Police Department in 2005. Chief Watson was initially appointed as a Patrol Officer, promoting to Sergeant in 2007 and Captain in 2014.

Chief Watson received his Bachelor of Arts, Church Leadership (leadership-focused multidisciplinary study) in 1996, and completed the Teaching Credential Program in 1997 from Bethany University.

Additionally, Chief Watson has completed course work at Humboldt State University and California State University, Long Beach, and most recently graduated the California Police Chiefs Association, Executive Leadership Institute at Drucker School of Management (Claremont Graduate University). Prior to beginning his career in law enforcement, Chief Watson served in the United States Army, and the United States Army Reserve.

Chief Watson’s community message is “I believe that partnership, understanding, and public trust are core tenets of any successful policing program. It takes a whole community to police effectively and EPD needs your help. We can’t throw enough handcuffs at our problems to solve them all through arrests. ‘Ping-pong’ policing doesn’t work. Creative, collaborative crime fighting and prevention is needed”.

Mayor Frank Jäger commented “I am very pleased that Interim Chief Watson has accepted the position of Police Chief and I believe he will lead our police department with integrity and with commitment to our residents”.

As per the provisions of the City Charter, the Eureka City Council will be requested to approve the City Manager’s appointment of Chief Watson at the October 17, City Council meeting.



  • Congratulations Chief!

  • Great choice for Chief. I’ve known him and his family since he was a young man.

  • I think he will do some proactive policing for once track down the heroin houses ,and meth houses and do some work busting those places. Places that move pounds of the stuff not quarter ounces

  • Congratulations Chief Watson!

  • Congratulations, Chief Watson! I was hoping you would get the job, I have faith you will take care of the mess Eureka is in.

  • Now if they would only ENFORCE the laws. No aggressive panhandling. No sleeping in public. No drinking in public. No camping on the streets. No rolling through stop signs. And on and on. There are no laws without enforcement. EPD needs to enforce laws NOW.

    • I have a feeling things will change. Hope I’m right.

    • Most of the Homeless issues are social ills that are inherited by the police department but aren’t necessarily the best agency equipped for the job. The EPD has the power of arrest, and somehow “Arrest” is supposed to fix people who are addicted to drugs and have no place to stay? Sleeping is not a crime, it’s a human right, as is existing. If you own a house, or are successful you have a duty to fix the problems in which the system you partake in creates. There will always be winners and losers, some people whether you like their lifestyle choices or not are going to be the losers in the economic and social systems that are in place.

  • I sure hope he has some great ideas to help EUREKA!! He’s got a good attitude. Good luck to Chief Watson🚔

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