Ronald L. Davis was appointed Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in November 2013. His appointment to the Justice Department follows 8 years of serving the City of East Palo Alto as Chief of Police. Before becoming Chief, Mr. Davis served 20 years with the Oakland Police Department where he rose to the rank of Captain and served in assignments including Police Academy Director, Criminal Investigations Commander, Patrol Commander, and Inspector General.
In East Palo Alto, Mr. Davis has led an organizational reform and community-policing effort that has increased public trust and confidence in the police and achieved dramatic crime and violence reductions in a city once dubbed the murder capital of the United States. Over the past six years, homicides have dropped by over 50%, overall crime is down over 20%, and police and community relations have dramatically improved.
Mr. Davis partnered with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to implement a pilot parole-reentry program that provided programming and enforcement services, and a job program with the California Department of Transportation. The East Palo Alto Police Department was the first police agency in the state to operate a state-funded reentry program. Return-to-custody rates dropped from over 60% to under 20% during this program.
Mr. Davis has worked closely with the Justice Department in the past, serving as a policing expert for the Department’s Civil Rights Division. In this capacity, Mr. Davis participated in several constitutional "patterns and practice" investigations of police departments throughout the United States and served on two federal monitoring teams with oversight of police-reform consent decrees between the United States Department of Justice and the Washington, D.C. and Detroit Police Departments.
Mr. Davis is the co-author of the Harvard University and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) publication, "Exploring the Role of the Police in Prisoner Reentry", and the United States Department of Justice publication, “How to Correctly Collect and Analyze Racial Profiling Data: Your Reputation Depends on It". He is a contributing author to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) publications: "Chief Concerns: The Use of Force” and “Early Release of Prisoners and Its Impact on Police Agencies and Communities in California".
Mr. Davis is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Research Advisory Committee (RAC), the California Endowment Youth Justice Policy Board, the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Juvenile Justice Standing Committee, and the prestigious Harvard University and National Institute of Justice Executive Sessions on Policing and Public Safety. He possesses a Bachelors of Science degree from Southern Illinois University (SIU) and he has completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University’s, John F. Kennedy School of Government.