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Napa CountyCandidate for Sheriff

Photo of Oscar Ortiz

Oscar Ortiz

Appointed Napa County Sheriff-Coroner
20,587 votes (61.14%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Strengthening crime fighting tools for law enforcement personnel to lower incidents of violent crimes and property crimes
  • Continuing to support community-oriented policing programs that enhance public safety while building trust, confidence and a more collaborative working relationship with the public
  • Bringing public safety personnel together (law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders) to coordinate responses during wildfires or other natural disasters



Profession:Napa County Sheriff-Coroner
Napa County Sheriff-Coroner, Napa County Sheriff's Office (2021–current)
Napa County Sheriff-Coroner, Napa County Sheriff's Office — Appointed position (2021–current)
Chief of Police, City of American Canyon (2017–2021)
Chief of Police, City of American Canyon — Appointed position (2017–2021)
Lieutenant, Napa County Sheriff's Office (2014–2017)
Sergeant, Napa County Sheriff's Office (2003–2014)
Deputy Sheriff, Napa County Sheriff's Office (1996–2003)


Social and Behavioral Science Associate of Arts Degree, Napa Valley College
University of Virginia Undergraduate Certificate, Criminal Justice Education
FBI National Academy, Class 273, Quantico, VA Graduate, Enhanced field credentials to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide. (2018)
Vintage High School, Napa High School Diploma (1989)

Community Activities

Volunteer, Mentor and Youth Sports Coach, Napa County Sheriff's Activities League (1999–current)
Local Board Member and Volunteer, USA Boxing (2004–current)
Board Member, NEWS (formerly Napa Women's Emergency Shelter) (2018–current)


Deep Roots in Napa County

Oscar Ortiz has a deep-rooted history in Napa County, having moved to the Napa Valley when he was 4 years old. The son of immigrants who came to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico in 1969, Oscar was born in the Los Angeles area in 1970; just a few years later, his family moved further north to Yountville, settling along the Silverado Trail after Oscar’s father landed a job planting and managing a vineyard in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District. Since that move north, Oscar’s family has largely remained in Napa County to this day.

Oscar grew up on the vineyard ranch where his father worked, and learned from a young age the importance of hard work, dedication and caring for the land & his fellow neighbors.

He attended Yountville Elementary School and Redwood Middle School in Napa before graduating from Napa’s Vintage High School in 1989.


Beginnings in Law Enforcement

Shortly after high school, Oscar became interested in a career in law enforcement. He did not allow barriers to get in his way. His focus, determination and tremendous work ethic allowed him to achieve his goal. 

1991 was a big year for Oscar. He had his first child – a son, DJ. It was also the year Oscar landed his first law enforcement job as an Extra Help Correctional Officer with the Napa County Department of Corrections, where he worked hard to prove himself before being offered a full-time correctional officer position in January 1992. He would ultimately spend 5 years with the Department of Corrections before transitioning to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, where he has been employed for 26 years now.


Career with the Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff

In 1996, Oscar was offered a Deputy Sheriff position with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Oscar spent the first seven years with the department as a Deputy Sheriff working in a variety of positions: patrol, detective, court security (bailiff), as a field training officer and as coordinator for the Napa Sheriff’s Activities League (SAL) – a crime prevention program that brings at-risk youth and law enforcement personnel together through team-building and sports activities – an experience that has had a huge impact on Oscar, one that would fuel his passion to give back to disadvantaged and at-risk communities. During that time, Oscar received a "Deputy of the Year" award and community recognition for his work with local youth.


In 2003, Oscar was promoted to the position of Sergeant, where he once again worked patrol, was the Sergeant for all field training officers in the department, supervised the narcotics task force, served as the Sergeant for the Animal Services Bureau, and was the Sergeant assigned to American Canyon, primarily working patrol.

Following Oscar’s promotion to Sergeant, he began serving as an Adjunct Instructor with the Napa Police Academy, teaching prospective police officers about best practices on the use of force, police pullovers, narcotics enforcement and crimes & progress.


In 2014, Oscar was promoted to Lieutenant, where he was primarily in charge of the Detective Bureau and was assigned to the County Office of Emergency Services, serving as the Operations Section Chief for Disasters and Emergencies. This assignment proved to be pivotal in Oscar’s career as he led the county and its departments during multiple times of crisis, largely due to a prolonged period of natural disasters over the last decade. The year Oscar took on this role, downtown Napa was damaged from the 2014 South Napa earthquake; in 2015, following the Valley Fire in Lake County, Oscar was overseeing all operations at the Napa County Fairgrounds for fire evacuees; in 2017, Napa was hit early in the year by flooding, before the Napa Fire Complex devastated rural Napa County later in the year. Oscar’s steady hand and capable leadership during these times was one professional focal point during his second and third decades with the Sheriff’s Office.

Beyond Oscar’s central role in crisis management, he continued to be involved in field training programs for new officers, maintained management oversight of the crowd control team and law enforcement mutual aid coordination, Peer Support Team, and became an Adjunct Instructor with the Criminal Justice Training Center for the local Field Training Officer School.

Captain & Chief of Police

In December 2017, Oscar was promoted to the position of Captain, at which time he was also appointed Police Chief for the City of American Canyon, which contracts with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services. In this position, he learned to interface with both the City Manager and City Council for American Canyon, much like the Sheriff of Napa County interfaces with the County CEO and Board of Supervisors.

As Chief of Police, Oscar oversaw a $7 million annual budget and 26 employees providing public safety services for the City of American Canyon. He did so while maintaining his position with the County’s Office of Emergency Services (which more recently managed the county’s pandemic response efforts while protecting the community during the 2020 LNU fire complex); he also retained oversight of the mobile field force and peer support teams, continuing to support fellow peace officers through training and in the workplace.

Napa County Sheriff

On June 26, 2021, Oscar Ortiz began his tenure as Napa County Sheriff. He will serve in this position until at least the end of 2022, after which time, with the support of the residents of Napa County, he hopes to continue serving as elected Sheriff of Napa County into 2023 and beyond.


Raising a Family

In addition to his adult son, DJ, Oscar and his wife, Oralia, have an adult son, also named Oscar, who’s a sophomore studying Forensic Sciences at Arizona State University. Oscar and Oralia’s youngest, Christopher, will begin American Canyon High School this fall. The three live in the City of American Canyon.

Oscar holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Management and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.


Commitment to Community

Oscar has lived in Napa County for much of his life. As a husband, father and peace officer for 26 years, he has always sought to keep our community safe.

Oscar’s commitment to our community extends beyond his work with the Sheriff’s Activities League and Emergency Operations Center – outside of the workplace, Oscar’s passion is to help others as a coach and mentor. Oscar coached youth soccer for many years, before turning his focus to coaching amateur boxers, some of whom have gone on to box professionally. Through his work as a mentor and coach for young adults, in 2018, the Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awarded Oscar the “Male Role Model of the Year” award.

Professionally, as the former Chief of Police for American Canyon, Oscar sought to improve community engagement and strengthen partnerships between the public and law enforcement through increased outreach (starting up a monthly newsletter and greatly increasing the police department’s social media following) along with greater emphasis on community-oriented policing. As part of this partnership, American Canyon’s Neighborhood Watch program enrollment went from 500 households to more than 2,600 households in just a few years under Oscar's leadership.

Oscar’s law enforcement career has also allowed him to help children and those experiencing a mental health crisis. Oscar served as an instructor for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, speaking with kids at Napa Valley elementary schools. He also spent a decade working as a Crisis and Hostage Negotiator – working directly with people experiencing a mental health crisis to de-escalate people in crisis and allow them to accept help or surrender peacefully in dangerous circumstances.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Napa County Deputy Sheriffs' Association
  • St. Helena Police Officers' Association
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) Northern Chapter

Elected Officials (3)

  • Congressman Mike Thompson
  • State Senator Bill Dodd
  • Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht

Who else is running?

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