Why I WORE the Badge
Police Chief Michael J. Sellers began his career with the Santa Clara Police Department as a Cadet in 1978. Since, he has spent his entire law enforcement career with the City of Santa Clara.
In 1982, he became a Police Reserve before being hired as a Police Officer in 1985. The Chief has worked a wide variety of unique assignments including undercover narcotics in the Specialized Crimes Action Team (SCAT), Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and the Santa Clara County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force. He has also been a Field Training Officer and was a charter member of the Special Enforcement Team (SET).
He was promoted to Sergeant in 1997 where he supervised a Patrol team and was a member of our Special Response Team (SRT).
In 2004, he progressed to Lieutenant. During the course of his tenure in his classification, he worked as the Patrol watch commander oversaw special operations, coordinated the Reserve Officer program, assisted with the Citizen’s Police Academy, served as the liaison to other City Departments as the special event coordinator and represented SCPD as the Public Information Officer.
In 2008, he advanced to the rank of Captain and took command of the Field Operations Division. In July, 2010, he rotated to the Administrative Services Division and promoted to Assistant Chief in January, 2012. He was elected Chief of Police in 2012 and 2016. He is a graduate of California State University Long Beach and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Studies.
The Chief is also a graduate of the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.
CHIEF, HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?
While in high school, I went on a ride-along with a Sunnyvale police officer. It was originally scheduled to last 3 hours - ten hours later, I was hooked!
I joined the Santa Clara Police Department’s cadet program and later volunteered as a Reserve Officer. In 1985, I was hired as a police officer by Chief Manny Ferguson. It was the best gift anyone could have given a 24-year-old kid.
CHIEF, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT BEING A POLICE OFFICER?
I knew each day in this profession would be different. Over the years, I worked alongside some amazing people to problem solve, save lives, help people make better choices, make a positive difference in people’s lives and serve our supportive community. There is no better feeling than helping a stranger in need. Law enforcement is a noble profession, I am honored to have made it my career and recommend it to anyone interested in making a difference in our community.
Through my career, I have been very blessed with the opportunity to work in a variety of assignments and progress up the career ladder. In 2012, I was honored to be elected as Chief of Police and asked retired Chief Manny Ferguson administer my Oath of Office.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the loving support of my family. I could not have had the success I did without their unconditional support.
CHIEF, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS IN RETIREMENT?
I plan to spend time with family, travel and continue to volunteer with various community organizations (Santa Clara Rotary President 2020).