Chief Ortega has over 33 years of law enforcement experience. From 2017 through 2020, he served as the Chief of Police for the Placerville Police Department. During his tenure, the Department had a staff of 30 full-time employees (19 sworn and 11 support staff members) and an annual budget of $3.2 million. Prior to his retirement, Chief Ortega initiated a collaborative effort between El Dorado County and the City of Placerville, California, to better address the homeless / mentally ill community. The first six months of this collaboration resulted in a 37 percent decrease in calls for service related to the homeless population. Chief Ortega also initiated a collaborative code enforcement program and brought more focus on long-term problem-solving. He upgraded much of the outdated equipment for the Police Department staff, including emergency 9‑1‑1 and administrative telephone systems, body-worn cameras, IT equipment, and patrol vehicles.
Prior to serving in Placerville, Chief Ortega served with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. His experience with the Sheriff’s Office includes 11 years in field services as a Patrol Deputy, Sergeant, and Lieutenant. He served three years as a problem-oriented policing deputy and two and a half years as a problem-oriented policing supervisor. He also served as a Bureau Commander in the Support Services Division, where he initiated a process that resulted in the construction of a new 9‑1‑1 public safety answering point. Chief Ortega also served as the Commander of the Property-Evidence Bureau and Civil Bureau. As a Captain, he served as the Commander of the main jail in downtown Sacramento, then as the Court Security Commander. Prior to serving with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, he served with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office for 18 months.
Chief Ortega holds a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from California State University Sacramento, a master of science degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University Long Beach, and is a Session 255 graduate of the FBI National Academy Program.
“I really want to express my appreciation for this work that’s been done in a collaborative way in which the study was put together. . . . I’ve seen a number of studies start in the fire department and this is the first one I can remember that has actually been fully completed and brought to the council, and it was done in a very thorough fashion. This is the best assemblage of comprehensive information about the fire department today, as well as what our needs might be in the future, that I have seen. So thanks to everyone. Thank you, Stewart, for giving us our money’s worth on our consultant contract with you.”
City Manager City of San Luis Obispo
“I am really, really impressed. I am impressed at the exhaustiveness of your study, impressed at the honesty and candor with which you expressed your findings; I am very impressed at the constructive tone of it, and that you came in under budget as well. So, thank you very much. I think that this document is going to be a cornerstone for us really moving forward for the next five, ten, twenty [years], half a century.”
Salt Lake City Council Meeting
“I wanted to offer my compliments to Citygate, to Mr. Gary for this very comprehensive report.”
San Luis Obispo Council Member
“I really, really enjoyed reading your Word product. I appreciate the fact that it was direct, it was constructive, and . . . it wasn’t finger-pointing, it was just . . . the facts. And I think that the money was well spent.”
Salt Lake City Council Meeting
“Thank you very much for a comprehensive report. Thank you.”
“I was absolutely thrilled with the report because it was very comprehensive, very detailed. I call it the ‘time-in-motion study’ almost and some of the aspects [are] ‘how does your paper flow? How can you make your processes better? . . . As a government agency, how can we provide better service to the constituents?’ And to us we think that this study identifies those things down to all of the small paper processes and flows.”
Retired City Manager City of Vista, CA
“Thank you so much for this training. This was the best PIO training I’ve ever received.”
S-403 Information Officer class participant
“Thank you so much for all you have done. And it’s so comprehensive, I know it’s going to take a while for us to digest it all, but I think you’ve come up with some really good recommendations.”
Pro Tempore City of Vista, CA
“I think Citygate has done a great job. It seems like you’ve been most thorough and even-handed in your evaluations and you’ve given us certainly a lot of suggestions and guidelines to work with.”
City of Vista, CA
“I think this is one of the most comprehensive reports and I think probably one of the best presented reports I’ve seen in my years in government service. I want to start off by commending you for that and acknowledge that the work that you were able to do with cooperation from all of the different firefighting agencies in this region was second-to-none.”
Supervisor First District San Diego County