Watsonville police Chief David Honda
(City of Watsonville)
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Watsonville police Chief David Honda retiring, will leave top cop job July 1

Watsonville’s assistant police chief, Thomas Sims, will serve as interim chief until a replacement for Honda is named.

Watsonvillle police Chief David Honda announced Thursday morning that he is retiring after more than 30 years in law enforcement.

Honda was named chief in April 2016, overseeing a staff of about 100 officers and support staff for the city of 54,000. His department recently released a “2020 Annual Report” that noted the challenges of policing through the COVID-19 pandemic, the CZU fires and the national conversation on police practices in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

“For the past five years, I have witnessed how the community has worked alongside us during some of the most challenging times,” Honda said in a written statement. “I leave knowing we’ve created strong community relationships with a solid foundation to tackle the challenges before us.”

Honda will work until July 1, with Assistant Chief Thomas Sims to serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement is identified. “I’m committed to working with the city manager and my command staff to ensure a smooth transition,” Honda wrote.

Before coming to Watsoonville, Honda was a San Jose police officer, working a variety of assignments including patrol, youth services, narcotics enforcement, violent crimes enforcement, SWAT team and internal affairs. He eventually ovesaw multiple divisions of the San Jose police force.

Like Honda, Sims began his police career in 1990 with the San Jose Police Department where he worked a variety of assignments including patrol, investigations, administration, and training and intelligence. He has been assistant chief since January 2017.