Chief of Police Michael Claborn was born and raised in Huntington Park, California, before enlisting in the United States Army in October of 1990. After honorably serving his country, he started his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996. After just over four years he lateraled to the Santa Ana Police Department, where he has served for the past 21 years. He rose through the ranks from Police Officer to Commander, having been awarded several commendations in recognition of his performance and leadership. He supervised the Criminal Investigations Division, Homeland Security Division, Community Engagement, Emergency Management, Police Athletic & Activities League, K-9 Unit, Air Support, School Resource Officer, Reserves, and Volunteers. On January 24, 2022, he was appointed to serve as the 10th Chief of Police for the Los Alamitos Police Department.
Chief Claborn earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from California State University, Long Beach, in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of Golden West College’s Leadership Development Program, the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute, the West Point Leadership Program, and POST Command College. During Command College he wrote an article titled, “Healthy Cops: Officer Wellness as a Condition of Employment”, which was published on the Police1 website. He also authored an article titled, “Suicide Awareness and Officer Wellness”, which was published on the cover of the Winter 2019 edition of the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) magazine.
He serves as a board member on the Officer Wellness & Resiliency Committee for the California Police Chiefs Association. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the California Peace Officers Association (CPOA). He also teaches for California State University Long Beach’s Center for Criminal Justice.
Locally, Chief Claborn has been a volunteer coach for the Friday Night Lights flag football league (Los Alamitos/Seal Beach) since 2019 and will serve on the Board of Directors for the Casa Youth Shelter.
Chief Claborn is continuing a trend, becoming the fifth recently appointed Orange County Chief of Police to live in the city in which they serve.