The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Cloverdale Comments - July 2016


Cloverdale Comments - July 2016

by Carol Russell

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. ”—John C. Maxwell

Here’s the latest installment in our series focusing on the people who make the City of Cloverdale work.

Stephen Cramer’s growing resume of life experiences, education and professional accomplishments is not only impressive, it offers us insight into his leadership style as Cloverdale’s Police Chief heading up the team that has helped make us “the third safest city” in our state.

A California native, who’s lived in the North Bay since the 5th grade, he began his law enforcement career in Sonoma 17 years ago. Coming to our city in 2005 he worked his way up through the ranks as an Officer, Acting Sergeant, Sergeant and, ultimately, appointment as Cloverdale’s Police Chief in September 2015. 

Together with their kids, he and his wife, Tami, have created a wonderful “yours, mine, and ours” blended family of seven – four “hers”, two “his” and one “ours”. Also add in six grandchildren plus one on the way!

Remarkably and admirably, along the way Chief Cramer earned four degrees:  a B.A. in Public Administration (USF), an M.A. in Leadership (St. Mary’s College), an M.S. in Organizational Development (USF), and a Juris Doctorate (Empire College).

As we started writing and thinking over all we know and have learned about him, we came to feel that the most significant entry in Chief Cramer’s extensive life resume is that he is a three time cancer survivor and that it is this experience which most contributes to his inspiring appreciation of life, family, other people, and work. At the same time, we also feel that he is by nature the epitome of a true 21st century leader: one who is called upon at various times to be a manager, innovator, collaborator, motivator, and always a visible/accessible communicator both inside and outside the organization.

You’ll enjoy and be encouraged by Chief Cramer’s two State of the Union reports at and Such thorough but very readable reports are not typically prepared by new Police Chiefs. They provide both elected officials and the public a record of all the key activities of the Department for the first one hundred days and then the first six months of his tenure.

Here are some snapshots from them: Preparation and expansion of Cloverdale Police Department Training Plan and Employee Career Paths; a Department “Succession Plan”; launch of informal community meetings called “Coffee With a Cop”; the Victim Services Resource, a collaborative effort with other County law enforcement agencies; establishment of a Latino Community Engagement Committee; creation of a Small Business Crime Prevention Guide; nomination for Police Officer Safety and Training (POST) Excellence in Training Award; ABC Responsible Beverage Service brochure and training for retail, bar and restaurant establishments; creation of first responder protocols for cardiac arrest victims; and draft of a Workplace Diversity Plan

One of the best examples of the quality of Chief Cramer’s work products is his contribution to our updated ordinance covering cultivation and delivery of medical marijuana. He initiated the project and gave four well-crafted Powerpoint presentations to City Council. All were well attended by the public and addressed the complexities of the emerging law. The Chief’s research was both comprehensive and in-depth, yet, never over our heads. Best of all, he even anticipated both our questions and our areas of possible confusion so we were able to make an informed decision unanimously approving the ordinance after very valuable public input. 

With additional issues on the horizon, such as dispensaries and commercial cultivation, not to mention possible legality of recreational cannabis, there will be more to do. But the all-important foundation is laid. (More information is available on the City website - and at above references).

We’ll ask Chief Cramer to wrap it up. In his “State of the Union” reports, he writes: “I did not accomplish any of the attached items by myself. I have an incredible command staff and a dedicated, talented group of law enforcement professionals each of whom have participated and contributed . . . Our Police Department is now recognized County-wide as being inclusive, supportive, and creative.” Cloverdale’s “police officers have a role in affecting positive change, expectations of exceptional service, and continuing transition of assimilating to community expectations.”