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Turlock police chief to retire
Nino Amirfar
Throughout his career at the Turlock Police Department Chief Nino Amirfar has been very active in the community promoting the Police Activities League at events like the annual Downtown Halloween Trick-or-Treat pictured above (Photo contributed).

Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar announced that he will be retiring from City of Turlock service in October.

“When you start law enforcement, you have a goal you want to reach and I’ve reached beyond my goals,” said Amirfar. “It’s never the right time (to retire), but it’s just time.”

Amirfar’s retirement announcement received little fanfare from the City of Turlock, but he said all City departments have been busy working on coronavirus response plans.

After former Turlock Mayor John Lazar posted on Facebook well wishes for his retirement, Amirfar responded on his page with this sentiment:

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our community. I am humbled by the faith and trust that our community and my staff have place in me. I am very proud of the men and women (past and present) who continue to amaze me with their professionalism and dedication to our community even during stressful times. Our community is blessed to have such a committed group of men and women — police, dispatch, professional support staff and volunteers.

“I am committed to our community and will continue serve to my fullest capacity until October 2.”

The long-time member of the Turlock Police Department said he was “overwhelmed” by the response he received from community members on social media and in personal messages.

“I do love this community. My heart, soul and body are for (the community),” he said.

Amirfar is a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. His career began in 1989 with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. The following year he was hired on at the Turlock Police Department. Over his career he has been a field training officer, a member of the bike patrol and the drug suppression unit. He also was the first school resource officer in Turlock and was instrumental in bringing the Every 15 Minutes program to Turlock and Stanislaus County.

He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2007, and soon after was promoted to a lieutenant. In 2015 he was promoted to the rank of captain and oversaw the Special Operations Division, which includes general investigations, the Narcotics Enforcement Team, Animal Services, and the Community Outreach Response and Engagement unit. He served the role of interim police chief starting in August 2016 when Robert Jackson left the post and then was appointed the permanent chief in January 2017.

“I have personally enjoyed Chief Amirfar’s experience to our community,” said Mayor Amy Bublak.

The City of Turlock has not yet released any plans on a search process for Amirfar’s replacement.

While Amirfar is the most recent, he is not the only department head to leave the City of Turlock in the past year and a half.

Robert Lawton resigned his post as City Manager in August 2019, after just 13 months on the job. Municipal Services Director Michael Cooke has been serving as interim city manager since Lawton’s departure. The City Council just hired a permanent City Manager in Toby Wells, who will start on April 20.

Administrative Services Director Kellie Jacobs-Hunter resigned her position in September 2019. The City has been using a part-time contracted employee as its finance director since then.

In June 2019, the City of Turlock fired Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. Division Chief of Operations Gary Carlson has been serving as Turlock’s Interim Fire Chief.