Gary Gacek to serve as chief of police
Friday, June 12, 2015

CONCORD – City Manager Brian Hiatt has announced the hiring of Gary Gacek as Concord's chief of police. Gacek comes to Concord from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and brings with him extensive law enforcement and police management experience. The position has been vacant since March, when former chief Guy Smith retired. Deputy City Manager and former chief Merl Hamilton has been serving as interim police chief during the search process.

Gacek was selected out of over 100 applicants. After initial interviews of top applicants, six candidates were invited to participate in an assessment center with three panels made up of area law enforcement executives, community and neighborhood representatives, and City staff, designed to provide feedback to the City Manager on the candidates' job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities. Gacek was one of two finalists selected by the City Manager for follow-up interviews.

"Concord has a strong Police Department made up of dedicated coworkers who care about our growing community," said Hiatt. "We were looking for a leader who can work with management, elected officials, and coworkers to develop and articulate a clear vision for the future. We also heard from the department that its leaders should have the skills to build upon our strong relationships within neighborhoods and with community groups. Chief Gacek’s broad experience in Milwaukee, combined with his law enforcement knowledge, has prepared him well for the job."

The Milwaukee Police Department includes 2,000 sworn officers and 700 civilians, and serves a city of over 600,000 residents. Gacek began his career with the department as a police aide in 1990 and was appointed to police officer in 1993. After four years in uniformed and undercover positions, he was promoted to sergeant in 1998. Over seven years he served in a variety of roles including field supervision of 60 patrol officers, human resource management, and conducting confidential internal affairs investigations in the professional performance division.

Gacek was promoted to lieutenant in 2005, and after serving as a patrol shift commander he returned to the professional performance division. Gacek was responsible for investigative case management, review and approval of pre-employment background and internal investigations, and coordination of the department’s hiring process.

In 2008, he joined the Office of Management, Analysis and Planning (OMAP), where he was responsible for managing the research, development, and implementation of departmental rules, policies, and procedures. He developed the department’s Code of Conduct manual for which he received the Chief’s Superior Leadership award. He also focused on analysis of legislation and court decisions to determine their impact on operations, as well as development and testing of new operational methods and techniques. Gacek was promoted to captain in July of 2009 and assumed oversight of the "CompStat" management performance process.

The remainder of his career in Milwaukee included command of several divisions, including criminal investigations, the emergency 911 communications center, internal affairs, and since March of 2014 the Neighborhood Task Force. Responsibility in this assignment included supervision of approximately 200 officers, 16 sergeants, 3 lieutenants, and 4 support staff in the tactical enforcement unit (commonly known as SWAT), motorcycle unit, K-9 unit, fugitive apprehension unit, street crimes unit, bicycle patrol unit, and the major incident response team. Gacek points to this experience as helpful in managing public safety operations and response at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord Mills, and other local attractions.

In Milwaukee, he developed a hot-spot policing strategy that uses saturation patrols along with foot and bicycle patrols to ensure police engage the community in a positive way. Citing Concord's established community oriented policing philosophy, Gacek plans to build on the work already accomplished by the Concord Police Department in this area. He considers interaction between police and the community essential, and feels open lines of communication will assist in making sure Concord’s strategies, tactics, and interventions are procedurally just and supported by the community.

"It is a tremendous honor to be Concord's next chief of police," said Gacek. "I'm excited to meet and work with the men and women of the Concord Police Department and other City departments. I look forward to visiting Concord's neighborhoods and developing partnerships to improve public safety and take community policing to the next level. My family and I are thrilled to join the community and to call the City of Concord 'home.'"

Gacek is married to his wife, Valerie, and they have two sons: Tyler, 14 and Colin, 12. He holds a master of arts degree in public service from Marquette University, with a specialization in criminal justice administration. When he is not working he enjoys long distance road cycling, golfing, home improvement projects, and going to concerts. He is also a NASCAR fan, with his favorite driver being Wisconsin-native Matt Kenseth. He will begin work in Concord in July, and the City will plan an event to introduce him to the community.