Dominic Rizzi, Jr., who was born and raised in Chicago and has spent more than 25 years moving up the chain of command in that city’s police department, has been chosen by Interim City Manager Michael Morales to be Yakima’s next chief of police.

“Dominic is a top level law enforcement professional and the City of Yakima is proud to have him as its next chief of police,” said Morales.  “The search process was extensive and exhaustive, but Dominic rose to the top of an impressive list of candidates,” said Morales.

Rizzi was one of six finalists who underwent a series of interviews, evaluations, and assessments in late January.  That group was cut in half following the 3-day process.  Morales then narrowed the field to Rizzi and current Ellensburg Police Chief Dale Miller a couple of weeks ago.

After paying personal visits to Chicago and Ellensburg, Morales came away impressed.

“Both Dominic and Dale have earned the respect of their peers, the employees they supervise, and their communities,” said Morales.  “The ultimate decision came down to who I felt will be the best fit for the department at this moment in time and I’m confident that person is Dominic.”

After a 3-year stint as a U.S. Army MP, Rizzi spent about 6 months with the University of Chicago Police Department before entering the Chicago Police Academy.  He began his career with the Chicago Police Department in 1987 as a patrolman and has since served in a variety of capacities including as a gang crimes tactical officer, a firearms instructor, a homicide/violent crimes detective, a police bureau lieutenant, the commanding officer of the Law Enforcement Operations Unit, and since last August, as acting watch commander for the department’s 9th Police District.

Rizzi comes from a family with a deep tradition of serving in law enforcement.  Among the 16 family members who have worked for or still work for police departments are Rizzi’s father Dominic, a retired Chicago police captain, his brother Jim, a captain with the Tucson, Arizona Police Department, and his brother Tom, a patrol officer in Tucson.  Various other cousins and uncles have or still do work for police departments across the country.

Rizzi holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal social justice from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois and a master’s degree in public safety administration from Calumet College in Whiting, Indiana.

Rizzi’s salary is yet to be determined pending final contract negotiations, although Morales said it will be within the current authorized police chief salary range of between just under $100,000 a year to just over $121,000 annually.  Rizzi’s exact starting date has also not been finalized, but Morales expects the new police chief to be on the job in Yakima within the couple of months.