After more than four years at the helm of the Riverbank Police Department, Bill Pooley is moving to a new post, accepting the job of Undersheriff with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department.
In a memorandum sent to personnel in that department dated April 1, Sheriff-Coroner James W. Mele made the announcement, indicating that Pooley will be sworn in on Tuesday, April 9.
“My last day is Friday,” Chief Pooley said, confirming his new appointment starts on Monday, April 8 with the swearing in on Tuesday.
A lieutenant with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Pooley has served as Chief of Police for Riverbank, which contracts with the sheriff’s department for police services, since 2008.
“I’m really going to miss it here, I have been truly blessed in this job,” Pooley said.
He will take over for Undersheriff Keith Lunney, who is retiring after 30-plus years in law enforcement in mid-August.
“They’ve allowed for a three-month transition period,” Pooley explained, noting that he will have the chance to learn the intricacies of his new job with Lunney there to help guide him.
Tuolumne County Sheriff Mele confirmed the arrangement.
“The organizational chart does not change, all assignments are still under Undersheriff Lunney as he will be working with Undersheriff Pooley during this transitional period,” Mele said.
Once Lunney retires, Pooley will be second in command at the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, which has its main office in Sonora.
“I started out in Sonora,” Pooley said, with the new job almost a ‘coming home’ of sorts, to where he began his career. “I also did 11 months with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.”
Pooley grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and moved to California in 1988. He attended the Modesto Police Academy and his first job was with the Sonora Police Department in 1990, as well as serving the 11 months as a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s department.
His career with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department began in 1994. There, he has worked patrol, served on the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency, worked as a detective and supervised patrol, detectives and a narcotics task force. In 2007 he was interim Chief of Police Services for Hughson and has also served as lieutenant for patrol operations and the FTO program. His work has also included management of the Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol Unit and, most recently, serving as Chief of Police in Riverbank since October of 2008.
“This is kind of a promotion for me,” Pooley said, excited about the new opportunity. “I still have a lot of stuff to close out and pass along here but I have no complaints, I’ve had a lot of fun and learned a lot.”
Pooley, who lives east of Oakdale, said the commute will be roughly the same, traveling to Sonora now instead of Riverbank.