Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton will be resigning from his position of five years, effective July 31, as he may be considering new employment opportunities.
Joining Turlock in 2006, Chief Hampton brought with him a wealth of knowledge from his extensive training in management and leadership, as well as over 24 years of experience in law enforcement.
Prior to leaving his Oakdale Police Chief position to become the Turlock Police Chief in August of 2006, Hampton served in police departments all over California.
For the last five years of his service in Turlock, Chief Hampton has made many accomplishments, such as significantly reducing crime, enhancing traffic safety, and efforts to achieve gang and drug eradication.
“Chief Hampton is an amazing chief and Turlock’s Police Department has truly improved under his leadership,” said Turlock Vice Mayor and Modesto Police Officer Amy Bublak.
In 2009, Turlock City Council appointed Chief Hampton as Interim City Manager. Chief Hampton fulfilled the duties of Police Chief and City Manager with no additional pay, saving the City of Turlock about $11,000 to $15,000 a month as he served in the interim position for 6 months. Hampton received accolades from many for the service and success while serving in both positions.
At Saturday’s Independence Celebration Parade and Car Show, Mayor John Lazar dedicated the day to Chief Hampton. “We appreciate all you’ve done for our community,” said Mayor Lazar.
When the Chief joined the Turlock Police Department (TPD), a three year strategic plan was developed by the department to enhance the level of public safety in the city. The plan proved to be quickly successful, resulting in an 11% reduction of crime during the first year of implementation in 2008.
Chief Hampton reported the TPD achieved crime reduction in 2010 for the third consecutive year, marking a total of 20% reduction in major crime.
Upon his arrival in 2006, the Chief addressed that the Methamphetamine epidemic has resulted in an increase in property crimes and gang activity. He said that community involvement would be the most important strategy to combat the issue.
Since then, TPD has benefitted of neighborhood and business watch programs to fight property crimes.
The Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement (CAGE) Team was implemented in 2008, and has proved to be an outstanding accomplishment. Since its execution, gang related crimes have declined by more than 50%, with gang related crime dropping a remarkable 76% in 2008 to 35% in 2010.
In 2010, auto thefts also dropped by 11% in Turlock.
TPD has also improved partnerships within the community through its volunteer programs. Volunteers have been an important aspect of the department, as they have retained services to Turlock that would have otherwise been eliminated due to budget cuts reducing staff levels. In 2010 alone, volunteers gave over 7,300 hours of service.
This year, free rape aggression defense courses have also been a service to women provided by the TPD and the Stanislaus State University Police.
In addition to those efforts, the Turlock Narcotics Enforcement Team’s (T-NET’s) have been on patrol seizing narcotics.
In 2010 the T-NET’s seized over 300 marijuana plants, almost 1,000 grams of marijuana, almost 100 grams of heroin, and over 100 grams of Methamphetamine.
Traffic safety has also seen a remarkable improvement since Chief Hampton re-established the Traffic Safety Unit in 2007. Since its take-off, collisions have reduced a remarkable 30%.
The unit’s efforts to create a safer driving environment have been enhanced by California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) grants.
Part of the OTS grants have included the countywide DUI checkpoints that citizens of Turlock frequently see during holiday weekends.
School zone enforcements have also been implemented by the unit, and have significantly reduced collisions involving children pedestrians.
In 2009 and 2010, TPD received an award from the National Association of Town Watch. The award is given to departments around the country that achieve outstanding department and community efforts during National Night Out, a night out against crime.
Modesto/Stanislaus County NAACP President Frank Johnson awarded Chief Hampton with the “Leading The Way Through Excellence,” award. President Johnson recognized TPD for their achievements in cultural diversity and contributions made to Turlock. President Johnson also suggested that TPD could serve as a model law enforcement.
“Turlock owes a debt of gratitude to Gary Hampton,” said Mayor Lazar. “We are a safer community through his efforts as Turlock Police Chief. I’m sure all Turlockers join me in extending our sincere thanks for his efforts and wish him well in his future endeavors.”