Chief Word has 30 years of law enforcement experience. He formally began his law enforcement career at the Oakland Police Department in 1984 and rapidly rose through the ranks to become Oakland’s youngest Chief of Police in 1999. As Chief, he commanded a force of approximately 1,200 total personnel, including over 700 sworn members, with a budget exceeding $160 million. In his first year as Chief, Oakland saw its lowest number of homicides in over 30 years. In 2004, Chief Word joined the Vacaville Police Department as its Chief of Police, where he served until his retirement in 2013. In 2014, Chief Word served as the interim Chief of Police for the Pinole Police Department. He also served as President of the California Police Chiefs Association in 2007, and he continues to teach both the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training certified Basic Internal Affairs Course and the Supervisors Course at the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training Center. Chief Word has conducted several police misconduct investigations, and he has served as a police procedures consultant for several law enforcement agencies.
Throughout Chief Word’s career, he has responded to, participated in, supervised, and reviewed major crowd control and protest/civil unrest events. He has also continually endeavored to build community trust, support, and confidence in the agencies he has commanded. Some of these efforts include the establishment of a police and corrections team at the Oakland Police Department. Such a team worked closely with State Parole, meeting with newly released prison inmates to direct them to local services to ensure their successful reentry into the community. In Oakland, Chief Word also included community members on police hiring and promotional panels, and he maintained several minority community police advisory groups. In Vacaville, the Police Department employed a number of Master Social Workers and Family Support Workers who worked closely with police detectives assigned to a Family Investigative Response Services Team and police officers assigned to Vacaville’s public schools.
Chief Word holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. Chief Word is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI National Executive Institute.
“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