After 28 years in the Foster City Police Department, 8 of them as Chief, Police Chief Craig Courtin will retire October 9, 2012.
After he was hired in 1984, Chief Courtin worked his way through the ranks from Recruit Police Officer to the rank of Chief. As he considered all of the ranks he held in the department during his career, Chief Courtin reflected that the rank of Detective Sergeant was the most fun – he thoroughly enjoyed being involved in investigations while at the same time having opportunities to mentor those under his command. The most fulfilling rank has been that of Police Chief, where he has the most significant influence over the direction of the Police Department as well as over the professional development of its members.
"I have always enjoyed the mentoring aspects of whatever supervisory position I’ve held,” said Courtin. “I am very proud to have been able to use this approach to help lead the department to a place where I can comfortably step aside, knowing that there are individuals at all levels within the organization that are ready to take more advanced leadership roles.” Courtin added, “It’s been a privilege to have worked and continue working with so many loyal and dedicated fellow department members who understand the expectations and needs of the community and commit themselves on a daily basis to help ensure Foster City remains the safe and high quality community that it is.”
City Manager Jim Hardy was effusive in his praise of Chief Courtin’s leadership. “Craig has been an inspired leader within the Police Department and is leaving the department well prepared to successfully move into the future. I applaud not only his professional accomplishments, but also his many contributions as a volunteer in the community. We will miss him, but wish him the best in retirement.”
Among his many accomplishments, Courtin is justifiably proud of being part of the unparalleled level of collaboration among law enforcement agencies in San Mateo County, including his participation in the county’s Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association in which he served as President in 2008 and Chair of the County Gang Task Force in 2009. “Cooperation among police agencies is not universal in this business, but the residents of San Mateo County can rest assured they are receiving the highest level of police services, in large part because of the tremendous mutual support among law enforcement agencies in this county,” Courtin stated.
Courtin did not set out to be a police officer. He was working as a licensed landscape contractor but was ready for a change when he saw an advertisement in the newspaper for police officer positions in Foster City and decided to apply. At 34 years old, he was nearly the oldest in his recruit academy class. He passed the academy and never looked back. “I have never once questioned or regretted selecting this career path or my decision to work for the Foster City Police Department, the City of Foster City or in serving the people of this wonderful community.”
Chief Courtin has brought a strong ethical focus to the job and a genuine empathy for the people with whom he has had law enforcement contact over the years. He encourages all members of the department in their personal commitment to justice and the welfare of those they serve.
Chief Courtin and his family have lived in Foster City for the past 16 years, during which time he has been active in the public schools his children attended as well as other community organizations. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Foster City since 1999, where he currently sits on the Board and will serve as President-Elect in the coming year. Upon retirement, in addition to pursuing his personal interests in physical training, gardening, hiking and traveling, Chief Courtin plans to continue volunteering his time in support of causes and organizations that serve the community in meaningful ways.
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City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404