Irvine’s new police chief, Michael Kent, is the first to grow up in Irvine and rise through the ranks from Police Explorer to chief. He first joined the department’s Police Explorer program in 1993, while attending Woodbridge High School.
“Just seeing how the officers interacted with the community, I knew this was what I wanted to do,” he says.
Kent became a sworn police officer in 2002 and quickly rose through the ranks. In 2017, the International Association of Chiefs of Police named Kent to its “40 Under 40” list of 40 law-enforcement professionals younger than 40 demonstrating leadership and commitment to the job.
He has received IPD’s Meritorious Service Award, the Medal of Courage Award and a Life Saving Award for resuscitating an unconscious man.
“As a resident of this community, I will work tirelessly to serve our residents,” he says, “and keep Irvine one of the best places to live and work.”
Kent holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton and a master’s degree in criminology, law and society from UC Irvine. Kent was sworn in as chief on Oct. 12.