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Attorney General Lockyer Names Rick Oules as New Director of Division of Law Enforcement
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced the appointment of Richard “Rick” Oules as Director of the Division of Law Enforcement (DLE). Oules, 49, assumes command of DLE effective immediately, and he succeeds Patrick Lunney, who recently retired after a 30-year career in law enforcement. Oules is the first “up-from-the-ranks” DLE Director to serve in the position in nearly 40 years.
Oules’ career in law enforcement spans 28 years, the last 18 years with the Attorney General’s Office. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Oules began his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department in 1977. Ten years later, he joined the Attorney General’s Office as a Special Agent in the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE). Over the years, Oules has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, including work as a Special Agent Supervisor and Special Agent in Charge within BNE, and Assistant Chief for the Criminal Intelligence Bureau. Since 2003, Oules has served as Deputy Director of DLE.
Oules also is a past president of the 7,000 member California Narcotic Officers’ Association, and a member of the California Peace Officers Association.
“Rick’s experience as a front-line officer and law enforcement leader has been of great service to our department and to law enforcement agencies throughout California,” said Lockyer. “Under his leadership, the Division will continue to build on its successes and develop innovative and relevant crime-fighting strategies that help keep Californians safe.”
As the Director of DLE, Oules serves as the Attorney General’s primary representative to law enforcement agencies throughout California and the country while managing more than 1,000 employees. DLE provides a wide range of services to the public and law enforcement agencies, and also manages numerous scientific and crime suppression programs through its three bureaus: Forensic Services, Narcotics Enforcement and Investigations.
“I am honored that Attorney General Lockyer has given me the opportunity to lead the Division of Law Enforcement,” said Oules. “I look forward to building on the accomplishments of his administration and continuing our tradition of providing outstanding law enforcement services to the people of California.”
For the last six years, Lunney served first as Deputy Director and then Director of DLE. Prior to his Department of Justice appointment, Lunney was Chief of Police in Merced for 15 years. Under his direction, the Merced Police Department earned numerous awards, and was nationally recognized for its community-based policing efforts.
Lunney leaves an impressive legacy at DLE. He helped lead DLE’s response to the threat of terrorism in the wake of 9/11, helped bring on line one of the nation’s largest and best forensic DNA labs, and presided over consecutive record-breaking seizures of illegal marijuana grows.
“Pat Lunney has provided outstanding leadership for the Division during some of the most challenging public safety and budget times ever,” Lockyer said. “He helped the Division not only overcome these obstacles, but also make real progress in protecting California. I wish him a long, happy and very active retirement, and hope he will make further contributions to better law enforcement.”