Despite county budget constraints that have reduced the number of Deputy Sheriffs serving our communities, and state-mandated criminal justice changes that have resulted in the release of hundreds of felons from state prisons, Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff has maintained the safety and security of county residents, reducing the county’s crime rate, reducing the County’s violent crime rate by 8.8% in 2017.
The Riverside County Sheriff ’s Department is the third largest in California, with 4,600 full-time staff and over 1,600 volunteers. As Sheriff, Sniff oversees countywide patrol operations, jail operations, court security, coroner investigations, and manages an annual operating budget of nearly 700 million dollars.
Sniff has over 40 years of law enforcement experience, joining the Coachella Police Department in 1975, then transferred to the Riverside County Sheriff ’s Department in 1979. He initially served across the Coachella Valley, helping create the department’s first specialized traffic safety programs. He later served in uniformed patrol operations in Riverside, the San Gorgonio Pass area and Southwest Riverside County. As a Captain, he held command assignments at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, the Banning Sheriff ’s Station and the Ben Clark Training Center, where he introduced the earliest computer-assisted training simulators that dramatically improved training in use of force and vehicle pursuits; as Chief Deputy he oversaw Training and Personnel and East and West county patrol operations; and as Assistant Sheriff he was oversaw all county court operations, jail operations and patrol operations divisions. Sniff has served as Riverside County Sheriff since October 2, 2007.
A retired Colonel in the Army Reserve, Sniff was commissioned as an Armor officer out of the OCS program in 1973 at the U.S. Army Infantry School. He served 30 years in a variety of military staff and command assignments in infantry, armor and cavalry units. In 1999, he was inducted by the Commandant of the U.S. Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia into the OCS Hall of Fame, and was awarded the Army’s Meritorious Service Medal four times. He has served as president of the 600-member Riverside March Chapter Air Force Village West, a private retirement community for military officers from all branches of the service.
Sniff received his undergraduate education at the University of California’s San Diego and Riverside campuses, graduating from the latter in 1980. At UCSD he lettered in Karate, served as team captain and was part of the team that captured the U.S. Intercollegiate Championships in 1971. In 2005, he was the recipient of the UCR Alumni Association’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and in 2007 he was inducted into the California Martial Arts Instructors Hall of Fame for service as a role model in his public service career. He has served as an adjunct instructor for Riverside Community College in the Basic Law Enforcement Academy and taught Leadership, Ethics and Management for newly promoted first-line supervisors. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute.
Sniff is the eldest grandson of one of the pioneering date and citrus families in the Coachella Valley, and grew up in the Indio area. His father served 25 years as a La Quinta City Councilman. He resides in Riverside, is a certified open-water SCUBA diver, collects history books, enjoys overseas travel and hikes each year in Yosemite.