Captain Valerie Matthews was born in Berkeley and grew up in San Jose and Pacifica, graduating from Oceana High School. She studied as an undergraduate at San Francisco State before deciding to pursue a career in law enforcement and attending the Supervisory Leadership Institute at California State University in Long Beach and the LAPD Leadership Academy. “I enjoy working with people and thought this was a job I would be good at,” Matthews says.
After graduating from the San Francisco Police Academy in February 1991, Matthews worked at Central and Bayview stations, in the Department Operations Center and as an investigator of traffic accidents, fugitives and homicides. She was promoted to captain in October 2017. As head of the Major Crimes Division, Matthews oversees the Homicide, Robbery, Gangs and civilian Crime Analyst units.