Home Main Category Announcements Orinda PD Chief Announces His Retirement

Orinda PD Chief Announces His Retirement

Mark Nagel. Photo: City of Orinda

Orinda Chief of Police Mark Nagel has announced his retirement after 20 years with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, with the last six years as the Chief of Orinda.

Chief Nagel began his career with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in 2000 as a Deputy Sheriff. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2005 and to Lieutenant in 2012. In 2013, he was selected as the Chief of Police for the City of Orinda.

“This, by far, has been my favorite and most rewarding assignment in my entire career” said Chief Nagel. Over the last six years, Chief Nagel has focused on community policing and ensuring the police department works with all community members. Chief Nagel has also made great strides in bringing technology to the department to provide not only deterrence but also to serve as useful tool in identifying suspects and apprehending criminals.

“With the implementation of license plate reading and security cameras, the ability to develop leads has been critical. Our ability to solve crimes increased substantially,” said Nagel. More recently, the acquisition of an (aerial) drone has given the police the ability to respond and assess a situation faster than not having this equipment.

Mayor Inga Miller praised Chief Nagel saying that he has been an asset to the community and that his tenure in Orinda would be a tough act to follow.

“Chief Nagel is part of the fabric of our community. He is always quick with a smile and takes the time to listen,” Miller said. “Those are attributes that are often contrary to people’s preconceived notions about police, and residents voice appreciation for his disarming demeanor and the time he takes to listen and solve problems. He will be missed.”

“I would like to thank the City of Orinda for their trust and support in allowing me to serve as their Chief of Police for the last six years. I also want to thank my neighboring police and Fire Chiefs for their collaboration on so many projects that benefited our communities. Finally, I would like to recognize the men and women of the Orinda Police Department for their professionalism and support to this community. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve and protect the citizens of Orinda,” said Nagel.

Chief Nagel will not be going far. He has accepted a position at his Alma mater Saint Mary’s College as the Director of Public Safety starting August 26, 2019.

The City Council will recognizing Chief Nagel’s service at their meeting of Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 7pm in the Orinda Library Auditorium. All are welcome!


  1. I’m stuck on the word retirement. I’m sure he did a wonderful job but that doesn’t sound like retirement if he already has another job lined up. Seems like a union escape clause being triggered.. Retire young + collect union benefits because of years of service + find a private sector job. This gravy train needs to end.

  2. I’m with Tim on this one. If he wasn’t collecting a full pension in his early 50’s he’d probably keep working for Orinda which would be a win/win, reasonable pay for a job well done. Instead the unions have stacked the deck so he can grab full pension benefits, leave and ring the cash register elsewhere. Seems like an obvious win for the Chief but an unfair deal for taxpayers.

  3. Best of luck and success to Chief Nagel. Thank you for keeping the streets of Orinda safer. You will be missed…

  4. I briefly met Mr. Nagel a few times over the past few years, and he seemed like a gentleman and a professional.

    However, the pension gravy train not only needs to end, but it certainly will end when this house-of-cards fake economy finally gets the plug pulled. Do a search for “pension crisis”, and if you stay away from the lamestream news, you’ll quickly see that all of these public-sector pensions are insolvent and doomed.

    Back in the olden days, you got a public-sector job because you agreed to take low pay in exchange for a rock-solid pension. You can’t have it both ways; the numbers just don’t add up. It’s all going to blow up, and it’s going to get ugly. People who lose their pensions and life savings get desperate. It happened in Germany in the 1920s, and it’s going to happen here. Our society is a powderkeg, and the coming financial re-set is going to be the spark that sets it all off.

  5. Congratulations to this officer for making it through the many years of wrangling drunks, hosing bodily fluids out of your car, long nights away from family, long hours, bad back and knees and the always present threat that the next car stop or domestic violence situation may be the last thing you do. I get the whole fiscal conservatism trend particularly now as our national debt flirts with the trillion – I said trillion – mark, but there should be some kind of benefit at the end of a long career in law enforcement. It leaves its mark in a lot of ways. I’m not saying the process should not be scrutinized, I’m just saying there are factors many may not be considering.

      • I know where you’re going with this Kip but the chief here and most of the deputies working in Lamorinda work for the sheriff and don’t spend all of their career giving tickets to soccer moms. I understand how people feel about this, I do.

    • “there should be some kind of benefit at the end of a long career in law enforcement.”
      Twenty years of toil is a long career? “bad back and knees”. It’s not like the rest of us are all accountants. How is that a full career? It’s not. We shouldn’t be surprised that persons work the rules to their advantage, but how is that NOT a system that fails the taxpayer? Of course he is entitled to something for his service. The question is how BIG is the package, and is it in the realm of fair compensation compared to everyone else who works a difficult job? And, who decides?

  6. Well said Tony. Police officers have job duties that most of us aren’t qualified to do, or wouldn’t want to do. There should be some kind of benefit at the end of a long career in law enforcement, and a nice pension is the answer. Of course police officers retire young. We can’t have officers in their 70s and 80s. Retired LEOs have every right to a second career.

    There are factors many may not be considering. It’s because they’re self absorbed. I’m saddened by anyone who can’t be happy for someone when they retire. You don’t have to live in Orinda (or Lamorinda) to be happy for him, and wish him well. All it takes is the desire to be a decent human being…

  7. “I’m saddened by anyone who can’t be happy for someone when they retire.” He has worked for about TWENTY YEARS, not counting summer jobs, etc. That is not a lifetime. He is not retiring. He’s starting a second career, probably with a second pension. Plumbers and sheet rockers and hod carriers and landscapers and the guys who suck the muck out of the sewer with a hose do what we “wouldn’t want to do”. Don’t be sad for me Danielle of Orinda. Wish us all retirement after twenty years!

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