New Sheriff

Capt. Leonard Purvis to replace Capt. Joe Borja, who will retire

Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Station
Capt. Leonard Purvis poses in his uniform in front of the national flag.

■ By Halima Haider / Reporter

Capt. Leonard Purvis, who currently oversees the Sheriff’s Professional Standards Bureau of the Internal Affairs Unit, will officially replace Capt. Joe Borja as commander of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station on Feb. 16.
Purvis, who was appointed by Sheriff Stan Sniff, will begin working with Borja to phase into his new assignment this month. Borja will retire effective next month.
Purvis is a longtime resident of the Valley with more than 27 years of full-time law enforcement experience under his belt, having served with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Banning Police Department (BPD), and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD).
Purvis began his law enforcement career with the Monterey Park Police Department in 1986, initially as a police explorer, later becoming a reserve police officer. In 1989, he graduated from the LACSD Academy where he became deputy sheriff. The following year, the commander-to-be moved to Riverside County and transferred over to the RCSD. He was initially assigned in 1990 to the Sheriff’s Court Services Division at the Banning Superior Court, where he provided court security.
In 1994, he was transferred to patrol at the old Banning Sheriff’s Station. He was promoted to investigator and assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau within four years of hire, working primarily in the Intelligence/Vice/Gang and the Major Narcotics units.
Purvis was promoted to Sergeant in 1999 and assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station where he supervised patrol and the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Team.
In June of 2004, the RCSD contracted with the City of San Jacinto and assigned Purvis to the initial transition team as the administrative sergeant, where he oversaw patrol functions, the detective bureau, front office staff, logistics, crime prevention personnel, and city police volunteers for SJPD.
Purvis was appointed as deputy chief of police for the Banning Police Department in 2005, leaving the RCSD. In 2007, he was appointed as chief of police there and oversaw 61 staff during his tenure with an annual operating budget of $7.5 million.
With Spanish as his first language, Purvis focused on sustaining diversity by establishing cross-departmental relationships within the police force throughout the Pass area.
He returned to the RCSD in Dec. 2013, initially assigned as a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Southwest Station and then later within sheriff’s administration. In March of 2015, he was promoted to sheriff’s lieutenant and assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station where he oversaw administration and later patrol operations.
Sniff promoted Purvis to the rank of captain in 2015 and he was initially assigned as the commander of the Sheriff’s Professional Standards Bureau (Internal Affairs).
Purvis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. He graduated in 2006 from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and POST Executive Development Course. He holds a POST Executive Certificate. Purvis has served as an instructor on criminal justice topics in our local community colleges over the years.
The Hemet Sheriff Station (HSS) provides service and protection to approximately 120,000 residents and covers more than 700 square miles of Riverside County. The HSS also provides police services to both the City of San Jacinto and MSJC. Additionally, the HSS provides law enforcement service to the unincorporated communities of Aguanga, Anza, Cahuilla, East Hemet, Garner Valley, Gilman Hot Springs, Green Acres, Idyllwild, Lake Riverside, Mountain Center, Pine Cove, Pine Meadows, Ramona, Sage, Santa Rosa, Soboba, Soboba Hot Springs, and Valle Vista.
The Hemet Station Commander typically oversees an annual budget of $22 million with an authorized staff of 132, including an authorized 107 sworn peace officers of all ranks.

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