Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis is a family man at heart
“I am so grateful for my wife and the life we’ve created together. Our family is the most important thing in my life,” says an impassioned Jon Lewis, Newport Beach Police Chief.
“My kids are the light of my world,” he continues.
The father of two – Claire, age 12, and Jon (JT is what everyone calls him), age 9, Jon is proud his children are outstanding students and participate in athletic activities. He says Claire plays volleyball, is a swimmer and a member of the junior lifeguard program in Huntington Beach, where the family resides.
“Claire also surfs with me,” Jon adds.
As to JT’s outside activities, Jon says he plays football and is an “awesome” baseball player as a left-handed pitcher.
“His goal is to be a professional baseball player,” Jon says. “I wouldn’t put anything past him.”
Jon says the family spends a lot of time at the beach and in supporting the kids’ sports endeavors.
“My wife Darcy is the perennial team mom,” Jon says. “She was a cheerleader in high school and the University of San Diego, where she received a diversified liberal arts degree with an emphasis in multicultural education.”
Jon continues his love of water polo, which he played in both high school and college, and plays competitively for the OC Riptide, based in Huntington Beach.
“We practice weekly and participate in three to five tournaments yearly,” he says.
Jon’s Family Background
Jon and his younger brother Brett were born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange County, where their father Tom served as an elementary and junior high school principal and their mother Linda as an elementary school teacher for many years in East Whittier. Jon and Brett both graduated from Westminster High School, where Jon was a good student, on the varsity swim team and a varsity water polo player.
Both brothers attended Long Beach State, where their parents were alums. Jon continued playing water polo and served as president of Sigma Chi fraternity, graduating with honors with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Speech Communication. Later, Jon received a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University.
Jon was 18 when he began working part-time as a Police Cadet for the Newport Beach Police Department, where he served throughout his college years. As soon as he graduated from Long Beach State in 1995, he was hired as a Police Recruit by the NBPD, and then it was off to the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy for 27 weeks of training.
“After the academy, I started in a field training program with another officer for three months, and then I was on my own,” Jon says. “I worked graveyard patrol and loved it.”
Marriage and Police Work
Jon met Darcy Farrell at a friend’s wedding in 2000, and they were married in 2001.
“I met her and knew right away she was the one. No question,” Jon says.
Darcy was a kindergarten teacher in San Diego at the time. She continues teaching in Huntington Beach today.
He describes his wife’s support of his police work as follows:
“Darcy has always been incredibly patient and always in my corner throughout my career,” Jon says.
Jon’s tenure with NBPD has included work as a Drug Recognition Expert, SWAT, Economic Crimes Detective, Training Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Professional Standards Unit Sergeant, Patrol Division Watch Commander, Support Services Commander, Executive Officer, Crisis Negotiation Team Commander and Deputy Chief, where he served in the Detective Division before transferring to the Patrol/Traffic Division with responsibility for the department’s uniform personnel. And, as of March 11, 2016, Jon became the 10th Chief of Police of the Newport Beach Police Department.
Highly involved in the community for many years, Jon is an active member of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodore’s Club and serves on the Newport Beach and Company’s board of directors. He also serves on the Regional Narcotic Suppression Program executive board, the Orange County Auto Theft Taskforce executive committee and the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness. He is a member of the Orange County Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association, the California Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
In addition, Jon was a member of the 2014 Bowl Championship Series Host Committee when Newport Beach hosted Florida State University and Auburn, and a member of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Committee held in Los Angeles, when Newport Beach was the host city for both the Mexico and Fiji delegations.
Jon says of his role as Police Chief:
“There is not a day I come to work that I don’t feel blessed for the opportunity to do this,” he says. “If I’m out in the community and hear people’s concerns, I know first-hand how as a police department we can help.”
Jon says the Newport Beach community understands the value of community policing and public safety.
“It is a partnership between the department and our community,” he says, “and our community is incredibly supportive. I’m very grateful for that.”
Raising Children Today
Jon describes his children as strong-willed and independent.
“I think those qualities will suit them well as they grow up, as they did for me,” he says.
Jon says the challenge for him, after spending a lifetime in law enforcement and at times seeing the worst life can offer, is keeping things in perspective when it comes to his own kids.
“It is an ongoing personal struggle for me between allowing them the freedom to grow and, at the same time, keeping them safe. Fortunately, I have an incredible wife to balance me out. She has done an amazing job with our kids.”