City Manager Announces Retirement of Police Chief

Thirty-one year law enforcement veteran to retire in December

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.- Melissa Stevenson Diaz announced today the retirement of Police Chief J.R. Gamez, which will take place December 11, 2017.

“I know the entire City Council values Chief Gamez’s incredible leadership and shares my sadness that he will be retiring. On behalf of my colleagues and the Redwood City community, J.R. will be missed.” said John Seybert, City of Redwood City mayor. “I have full confidence that our Police command staff and the men and women of the Redwood City Police Department will continue Chief Gamez’s outstanding legacy.”

“I have very much enjoyed working with J.R.; he has provided outstanding leadership for the department and has fostered strong and effective police-community relationships that will benefit the City well into the future,” said Melissa Stevenson Diaz, City of Redwood City, city manager. “I will truly miss working with him, but I am very glad he is making his health his top priority.”

Chief Gamez joined the Redwood City Police Department six years ago and over that time the community has seen a decrease in violent and property crimes. Gamez developed internationally-recognized community policing initiatives to benefit residents and foster community engagement with all members of Redwood City’s diverse community.

The department’s Adopt-A-School, Coffee with Cops, Parent Project and Homeless Outreach programs, Citizen Academies in both English and Spanish, Spanish language Facebook page, Town Halls, and Downtown Services Unit are a few of the community building programs that have fostered a sense of trust with community members and the police force.

“Due to an existing medical condition, it is with deep regret and sadness that I have accepted that it is time to listen to my doctors and retire. I plan on focusing on my health and spending time with family,” said J.R. Gamez, Redwood City’s police chief. “My time in Redwood City has been the most rewarding in my career. I have had the opportunity to build friendships with many members of our community and City staff that will last a lifetime.”

Gamez’s retirement concludes his law enforcement career with over 31 years of public service. Gamez holds various board and leadership roles including vice president of San Mateo County Police and Sheriff’s Association, Community Policing Committee International Association of Police Chiefs committee member, Sequoia Awards Board of Director, and Project What Extent Board of Directors. Before joining the Redwood City Police Department, Gamez began his law enforcement career working in various leadership roles with the San Jose Police Department.

A community reception will be held to honor Chief Gamez for his tremendous contributions to law enforcement and his outstanding service to the Redwood City community.

Deputy Chief Gary Kirby of the Redwood City Police Department will serve as Interim Chief of Police through this transition to provide stability and leadership for police staff and the community. Chief Kirby has been with the Redwood City Police Department for five years and has been serving as acting Chief for several months. Chief Kirby is also a seasoned law enforcement veteran of 31 years and prior to coming to Redwood City, served in various law enforcement leadership roles with the San Jose Police Department. He also worked for Apple, Inc.

The City Manager will fill this critical appointment in the coming months after seeking input from community members, police department staff and the City Council on essential qualities needed for the next Police Chief to continue the Police Department’s positive momentum.

Chief Gamez developed a statement to share his thoughts about his retirement and his career accomplishments while serving the Redwood City community. To view Chief Gamez’s full statement, go here.

To learn more about the City of Redwood City Police Department go here.

About the City of Redwood City
The City of Redwood City is a San Francisco Bay Area community located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the technology-rich region extending from the San Francisco Peninsula to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Redwood City is the third largest city within the County of San Mateo, with 85,992 residents. The city enjoys an average of 255 sunny days a year, which it boasts via the city slogan: “Climate Best by Government Test”. Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City is home to the San Mateo County History Museum (located in the county’s old courthouse) and the only active deep water port within the south bay of San Francisco. The city’s vibrant downtown, quickly becoming known as the entertainment hub of the San Francisco Peninsula, offers residents, visitors, and businesses a unique retail, entertainment, and restaurant experience. For more information, visit the City of Redwood City’s website at, or follow Redwood City on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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