Sheriff’s Office Mourns the Loss of Chief Administrative Officer Robert “Bob” Gonzales

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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Chief Administrative Officer Robert “Bob” Gonzales. Bob passed away [Tuesday] morning, at the age of 71, due to complications following recent cardiac surgery.

Bob started his career as our agency’s first non-sworn Human Resources Manager on August 31, 2019. Just two short years later, on September 5, 2021, Bob was promoted as our first-ever Chief Administrative Officer. He remained in the position until his passing.

Sheriff Brown said “Bob loved life and his chosen profession: law enforcement.  He also loved to work, and it showed. He touched many of us with his warm smile and positive nature. He left a big impression on us, and he will be greatly missed.”

Bob was born and raised in Santa Paula, where he was well known and highly respected. He graduated from Ventura College with an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1970, and an Associate of Arts Degree in General Education. He later graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

In 1972 Bob applied as a reserve police officer with the Santa Paula Police Department. He was eventually hired on with the agency as a full-time police officer. Bob held every sworn position in the agency: Police Officer, Senior Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant, Operations Commander and, for the last 7 years of his 33-year law enforcement career, Bob served as the Santa Paula Chief of Police.

Once he retired from the Santa Paula PD, Bob was elected to the Santa Paula City Council and served two 4-year terms. He then served two additional terms as Santa Paula’s Vice Mayor, and, finally, two more terms as the city’s Mayor.

In his spare time, Bob enjoyed traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his 8 grandchildren. Bob is survived by his four adult children: Steven Gonzales, who is a Sheriff’s Deputy with our agency, and is married to Bob’s daughter-in-law, Deputy Charlene Gonzales; Michelle McMahan; Mandee Gonzales and Brian Gonzales. He also leaves behind his beloved grandchildren.

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