San Jose Captain Appointed Chief of Police

Meynard “JR” Gamez will begin his role on Dec. 2.

Updated 3:54 p.m. Nov. 16

After months of rotating interim police chiefs since former Police Chief , the city has appointed San Jose Police Department Capt. Meynard “JR” Gamez to head the . He will start Dec. 2 with an annual salary of $186,984, not including benefits.

View a comparison of San Mateo County .

A phone screening process narrowed the 26 applicants to 14.  Of those, eight were selected to participate in the assessment center process (in which seven candidates actually participated), and three were brought forward as the final top candidates, according to city spokesperson Malcolm Smith.

Gamez had worked with the San Jose Police Department for over 25 years, where he began as a patrol officer and moved up to his current position as captain.

Gamez was not available immediately for a comment.

The city said that his service in San Jose’s police department gave him the “extensive professional experience, knowledge, skill and commitment to community that made him the top candidate.”

“J.R.’s track record is exemplary, across the entire range of key attributes that contribute to a dedicated, creative, and successful leader,” said city manager Bob Bell in a statement. “We had a number of truly excellent candidates for this position and it was a very difficult decision. J.R.’s focus on creating partnerships, bridge-building, and community involvement, as well as his vast experience in San Jose, showed us that he’s the right choice for our community.”

Interim Police Chiefs Ed Hernandez and Chris Cesena had also applied for the position amongst several candidates.

Some of Gamez’s proudest accomplishments while in San Jose, he said, were his leadership in Community Policing and Safe Neighborhoods initiatives, his groundbreaking work in gang suppression and rebuilding programs, mentoring youth with the Hispanic Development Corporation’s Youth Leadership Conference and in various elementary school programs, and his role as a divisional co-chair of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.

“This opportunity to lead the forward-thinking, talented, professional staff of the Redwood City Police Department is unparalleled, and I’m very excited about becoming part of this very special city” said Mr. Gamez. “I’m a big believer in building long-term, trusting partnerships that facilitate cooperation and directly address quality-of -life issues, and I know this belief is shared throughout the Redwood City community.

“The men and women of the Redwood City Police Department have an exceptional reputation as a professional and dedicated organization, and it’s a privilege to serve on the same team. The future looks very bright here, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to contribute.”

Mark Garcia November 16, 2011 at 09:13 AM
JR Gamez will serve Redwood City well. I have personal knowledge of his hard work and dedication to the community here in San Jose and to his profession. San Jose Police Officers who promote up the ranks within their department build a lasting foundation of dedicated service to the community. JR, like many others who have taken Chief jobs in other cities here in the bay area are hard to beat. Congratulations Redwood City, you made the right choice. Mark Garcia, Retired Lieutenant, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.
Kenny Vogel November 16, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Thanks for the update Stacie!
Stacie Chan November 17, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Thanks for your comments, Mark. I hope to meet with JR soon. (Though I'm sure he's got a ton on his plate with the transition!)


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