Walter Katz

Vice President of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures
Former police oversight official, Los Angeles County and San Jose, CA

Katz came to Arnold Ventures from a GovTech provider of research-based police force management and early intervention tools for law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. There he served as Director of Professional Services, providing advice to law enforcement agencies aligning policy and technology with 21st Century Police Practices.

Prior to his time as a consultant, Katz spent more than two decades in public service, beginning with a 17-year tenure as a public defender in Southern California. In 2017, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety in the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. At the Mayor's Office, Katz oversaw one of the most complex police reform efforts in the United States, served as a co-negotiator of the consent decree that was enacted in 2019, and led the design and development of the new Office of Violence Prevention. He worked closely with the Chicago Police Department in developing a new use of force policy and chaired the civilian Crisis Intervention Advisory Committee.

Katz has an extensive background in law enforcement oversight. Prior to returning to his birthplace of Chicago, he served as the Independent Police Auditor for San Jose, CA following his appointment by the City Council in 2015. He also served as Deputy Inspector General for the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General, overseeing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. In 2015, he authored "Enhancing Accountability and Trust with Independent Investigations of Police Lethal Force," in the Harvard Law Review Forum, and his work has also appeared in The New York Times and other publications.

A former board member of National Association for the Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, Katz currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Children's Home and Aid in Chicago. He received his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.