Sheriff Stan Sniff has designated Captain Leonard Purvis as the incoming Commander of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station, replacing Captain Joe Borja who has decided to retire next month. Captain Purvis takes command of the station officially on February 16th, but he will begin working with Captain Borja this month to phase into his new assignment. Captain Purvis currently oversees the Sheriff’s Professional Standards Bureau (Internal Affairs).
Captain Purvis has over 27 years of full-time law enforcement experience, serving over the years with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Banning Police Department, and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Captain Purvis and his family are longtime residents of the Hemet-San Jacinto Valley.
Captain Purvis started his law enforcement career with the Monterey Park Police Department in 1986, initially as a police explorer and then later as a reserve police officer in the community in which he grew up in. He was hired as a Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and graduated from their academy in 1989. The following year Captain Purvis moved to Riverside County and transferred over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. 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. In January of 1998, he was promoted to Investigator and assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau (SIB). He worked primarily in the Intelligence/Vice/Gang and the Major Narcotics Units.
In 1999, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station where over the next 5 years he supervised patrol, the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Team (COPPS), and the station’s detective bureau. In June of 2004, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department contracted with the City of San Jacinto to provide police services and he was assigned 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 San Jacinto PD.
Captain Purvis was appointed as “Deputy Chief of Police” for the Banning Police Department in 2005, leaving the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. He was later appointed as Chief of Police there in 2007, and oversaw 61 staff with an annual operating budget of $7.5 million, over the next 6 years for the 30,000 population, 23 square mile, San Gorgonio Pass community. With Spanish as his first language growing up in Monterey Park, Leonard Purvis focused on the importance of diversity and established police department relationships throughout the Pass area, including Youth Accountability Team, Project Safe Neighborhoods, outreach to at-risk youth programs, and Boys & Girls Club efforts.
Captain Purvis returned to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in December of 2013. He was 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.
Sheriff Stan Sniff promoted Leonard 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).
Captain Purvis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. He is a 2006 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and of the POST Executive Development Course. He holds the POST Executive Certificate. Captain Purvis has served as an instructor on criminal justice topics in our local community colleges over the years.
The Hemet Sheriff’s Station provides service and protection to approximately 120,000 residents and covers over 700 square miles of Riverside County. The Hemet Sheriff’s Station provides police services to both the City of San Jacinto and Mount San Jacinto College. Additionally, the Hemet Sheriff’s Station 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 oversees an annual budget of $22 million with an authorized staff of 132, including an authorized 107 sworn peace officers of all ranks, although the actual number of filled positions this fiscal year has been reduced by sharp county budget cuts caused by the current fiscal challenges faced by Riverside County.
Press Release & Photos Provided by the Riverside County Sheriff