Retiring Redwood City Police Chief JR Gamez was praised for installing modern technologies and a community-driven model of policing that helped build trust among residents during his retirement ceremony at City Council Monday night.
Chief Gamez has served Redwood City as police chief for six years, and totaled more than 31 years of public service. Previously, he worked in the San Jose Police Department.
He announced his retirement in September 2017 due to a medical condition. A new chief has not yet been selected. Deputy Chief Gary Kirby is serving as Interim Chief of Police.
On Monday night, Redwood City’s city manager and members of council and the community lauded Gamez for bringing technology, training and community engagement to a police department that saw reductions in property and violent crimes under his leadership.
After joining RCPD, the chief was selected as one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders in America for using social media and innovative video chat technology, and under his leadership the department received numerous international, national, and state awards for its use of technology and community engagement strategies.
“You helped a good department grow even better,” Redwood City Manager Melissa Diaz said.
Gamez was described as collaborative, open, confident but humble. A representative of Sen. Jerry Hill’s office honored Gamez’s leadership during the ceremony.
“I was able to make lifelong friendships here,” Gamez said, who credited members of the Redwood City police force for doing what it takes to make a good department become great. Please understand that these guys and gals are dedicated to this city.”
He appeared most thankful for the level of trust police have built in the community.
“I wanted our residents to come up to me and say I know this officer by his first name.” he said.
Gamez is a member of the Redwood City Rotary Club, a member of the Redwood City/ San Mateo Chamber of Commerce, and Redwood City International.
He also serves on the board of directors for the Sequoia Awards and Project What Extent. Police Chief Gamez received the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Portraits of Success Career Award for exemplary leadership during his law enforcement career.