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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 12:50 pm | Fair 68º


Former Santa Maria Police Chief John Sterling Dies

He served at the helm of the department for five years

The City of Santa Maria announced Monday the death of John Sterling, who served as the city’s police chief from April 1998 to May 2003.

Sterling, 60, died Sunday morning at Stanford Medical Center, according to Councilman Mike Cordero.

His family was at his side. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sterling was born and raised in Lompoc. He began his law enforcement career in Oakland, followed by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the East Palo Alto Police Department and then the City of Ridgecrest, before he came to Santa Maria.

Sterling is survived by his wife, Carol, son John and daughter Emily, both of whom serve in the military.

— Mark van de Kamp represents the Santa Maria City Manager’s Office.


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