Date: October 27, 2017
DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES SELECTION OF NEW CHIEF AND ASSISTANT CHIEF OF BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced today the selection of Paul M. Walters as the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation (Bureau) and Ron Seman as Assistant Chief for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) following a competitive recruitment process. The Bureau is the 32-unit law enforcement division of the OCDA, operating as an investigative agency. The Bureau consists of 130 sworn law enforcement investigators and 90 investigative assistants and technical support members, who provide trial support and investigate original jurisdiction cases.
“The OCDA is excited for this new direction of leadership in the Bureau. Chief Walters brings a unique skillset of knowing how to run a large police department combined with the skills needed to work as an executive in the County,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Assistant Chief Ron Seman led the office during a difficult and transitional time and proved himself to be an effective leader. We are excited to continue our great work in fighting gang crimes, human exploitation and trafficking, DNA and much more. The ever changing landscape of technology and the growing role of the Bureau make these positions challenging, and I am confident in Chief Walters and Assistant Chief Seman.”
Chief Paul M. Walters
Chief Walters joins the OCDA after a long career in government, law enforcement, and the military. He most recently served as Chief of Staff to Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett of the Fifth District, which encompasses 600,000 residents in south Orange County. Walters previously served as Chief of Police for the City of Santa Ana from 1988 to 2012, and worked as interim City Manager from 2011 to 2013, which overlapped with his work as Chief. During the city’s financial crisis, he implemented a strategic recovery plan of re-negotiating all of the existing union labor contracts and through contracting out of city services while still providing quality services.
Chief Walters is a veteran of the United States Air Force and attained the rank of staff sergeant, during which time he was nominated by the Commanding Officer for the Airman of the Year Award.
Chief Walters’ honors include the Director’s Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for exceptional public service and leadership. He is only the second person in history who was not an FBI employee to receive this award. Walters was recognized several times by the California Attorney General, the Governor of California, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate for policing innovations and strategic accomplishments. Walters was also honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, and was personally recognized by President Obama and the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for exceptional leadership, support, and personal devotion to the National Guard and Reserve.
Chief Walters is currently an Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation, Washington, D.C. The Police Foundation’s mission is to advance policing through innovation and science. It is the oldest nationally-known, non-profit, non-partisan, and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving America’s most noble profession – policing.
Walters earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy. He received Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from American College of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from California State University Fullerton.
“I am honored to have been selected as the Orange County District Attorney’s Chief of Bureau Investigation and I look forward to serving the people of Orange County in this new capacity,” stated Chief Walters. “This opportunity will allow me to use my law enforcement and executive experience and lead the premiere law enforcement team of the county comprised of both sworn and non-sworn seasoned law enforcement professionals, while serving the skilled and knowledgeable prosecutors of the office, all of whom are dedicated to keeping the residents of the county safe.”
Assistant Chief Ron Seman
Assistant Chief Seman joined the OCDA in 1997 after eight years with the Arcadia Police Department, where he served as a detective, Special Weapons and Tactics team member, Drug Recognition Expert instructor, field training officer, and patrol officer. Since joining the OCDA two decades ago, Seman has worked as an Investigator in the Homicide, Sexual Assault, Gang, TARGET, and Branch Court Services Units.
In 2006 he was promoted to Supervising Investigator and went on to supervise the Administrative Services, Special Assignments, Gang, Auto Insurance Fraud, Workers’ Compensation Task Force, and Consumer Environmental Protection units. Assistant Chief Seman was promoted to Commander of Special Assignments and Branch Court Services in 2013, where he managed and coordinated all investigations related to officer-involved shootings and custodial deaths, provided oversight of public integrity and corruption cases, and served as a liaison with Orange County law enforcement agencies, the Coroner’s Office and Sheriffs’ Department. He went on to serve as Commander of the Violent Crimes Division, which includes oversight of the vertical prosecutions units such as Homicide, Gangs, and Sexual Assault. In 2017, Seman was appointed Lead Commander, where he provided leadership and overall management of the Bureau.
Seman was recognized as Employee of the Year by the City of Arcadia and with the Medal of Distinguished Excellence from the OCDA Bureau. He was honored with the Investigative Excellence Award from the Robert Presley Institute and supervised a group at OCDA that was nominated for Law Enforcement Unit of the Year by the International Association of Special Investigative Units. Seman serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Orange County Law Enforcement Management and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the California District Attorney’s Investigators Association.
Assistant Chief Seman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Azusa Pacific University and graduated from the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Command College. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Science program for law enforcement and public safety leadership at University of San Diego.
“The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Investigation is a hard working group of highly skilled investigators and employees dedicated to protecting the public from crime and violence. I am very proud of the historical achievements of the Bureau and look forward to working with a highly qualified law enforcement professional like Paul Walters to lead us into the future,” stated Assistant Chief Seman.