City of Imperial looking for new police chief

IMPERIAL, Calif. - The City of Imperial City Council said it approved a contract with Bob Murray & Associates to begin the recruitment for a new Chief of Police. The Chief of Police is a contract employee with the City of Imperial that reports directly to the City Manager. 

This position was previously held by Chief Miguel Colon, Jr. Chief Colon Jr. had been put on administrative leave by the city manager, according to Colon’s attorney Bradley Gage. Gage said they have filed a complaint of discrimination towards a lawsuit. 

Several residents in the area we had previously spoken to had expressed concern over what was happening with the police chief.

In the interim, the Imperial Police Department is under the administration of Acting Deputy Chief Leonard J. Barra and Acting Deputy Chief Mario Luna. D.C. Barra has over 20 years’ experience in law enforcement. He has been with the Imperial Police Department since 2000. During his tenure he has served as the School Resource Officer, DARE Officer, a member of the SWAT team, Detective, Supervisor of the Imperial County Narcotic Task Force (ICNTF) and Supervisor of the ICNTF Gang Unit. D.C.

Barra is currently the Administrative Sergeant for the Department and President of the Imperial County Gang Intelligence Coalition. Acting Deputy Chief Mario Luna is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He has been involved in law enforcement since 1997, an officer since 2004 and employed with the City of Imperial since 2006. During his time with IPD, D.C. Luna has served as the School Resource Officer, a member of the SWAT team, Department Range Master-Firearms Instructor, Detective of Narcotics with the ICNTF in 2011, along with many other accreditations. D.C.

Luna was promoted to Sergeant of the IPD in 2012. Barra and Luna assumed Acting Deputy Chief duties in April. Since their appointment the IPD is striving to improve their relationship with the community. Currently the department is in the process of implementing an Explorer Program, Citizen Volunteer Program, Officer Reserves Program, and relaunching Neighborhood Watch.

Residents can expect to see these programs become available over the next few months. Anyone interested in applying for this position is encouraged to contact Bob Murray & Associates at (916) 784-9080 or visit During this transition safety of the Imperial Community is the Police Department’s number one priority. The City of Imperial has been named the safest city in the state of California and we intend to uphold that standard. 

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