Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley has been a law enforcement professional for 29 years. She began her career as a Police Explorer for the Los Alamitos Police Department in 1978 and later advanced to Police Cadet in 1984. Chief Gomez-Whiteley attended Loyola Marymount University on a basketball scholarship where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Alcohol and Drug Studies. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she entered the police academy at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center in 1986 and was hired by the Orange Police Department. In 2009, she completed her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership at Chapman University, and also received a certificate in Public and Non-Profit Leadership.
While at the Orange Police Department, Jackie rose through the ranks and became the department’s first woman motor officer, as well as sergeant and lieutenant; and worked all three divisions: Patrol, Investigations and Administration. In 1989, Jackie was involved in an officer-involved shooting of a kidnap and attempted murder suspect. As a result of her actions, she was awarded the Orange Police Department’s Medal of Valor, as well as honored by both the Rotary Club and American Legion. In 2007, Jackie graduated from the P.O.S.T. Command College, where she published an article in Police and Security News Magazine titled: Dirty Bombs: Calculating the Threat.
In 2009 Chief Gomez-Whiteley was hired as a Captain with the Cypress Police Department where she oversaw both divisions: Support Services and Operations during her tenure as Captain. In these roles, she worked closely with department staff in implementing best practices regarding recruitment and hiring, professional standards and current policies and procedures.
Jackie instructs recruits at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center where she has been on staff since 1994 and also teaches police executives at the San Diego Regional Training Center, California State University, Long Beach – Center for Criminal Justice, and South Bay Regional Public Safety Consortium. She was the Program Coordinator for the Golden West College Leadership and Ethics Institute and currently sits on the Steering Committee. In 2010, Chief Gomez-Whiteley was awarded the Golden West College Alumni Pillar of Achievement for her community-policing efforts.
Chief Gomez-Whiteley is a volunteer and President of Officers Give Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to hosting marrow donor drives in the public safety community throughout the State of California. In November 2008, Officers Give Hope was the recipient of the prestigious National Service Award presented by the National Marrow Donor Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 2011, Jackie was appointed Chief of Police for the Cypress Police Department ~ the first woman municipal Police Chief in Orange County. Under her leadership, the Cypress Police Department has been recognized by Crime Survivors as the Community-Policing Organization of the Year for 2012 and by the Orange County Human Relations Commission for their 2013 Community-Policing Award. Chief Gomez-Whiteley was honored by OC Metro as one of 20 Women to Watch in 2013 and nominated by the Orange County Business Journal for the 2013 Women in Business Award. In 2014, she was recognized by Assemblywoman Sharon Qwirk-Silva as one of the Women of Distinction recipients and also awarded the Spurgeon Award by Exploring Learning for Life of Orange County.
In July 2016, Chief Gomez-Whiteley came out of retirement to become the Interim Chief of Police at the Alhambra Police Department. She is currently conducting an organizational assessment to assist the incoming Chief in his/her transition.
Chief Gomez-Whiteley was responsible for coordinating the Southern California region of the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement organization, which is sponsored by the California Police Chiefs’ Association. She is a member of the California Police Chiefs’ Association, California Peace Officers’ Association, and International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Gomez-Whiteley continues to serve on a number of boards, including Orange County Exploring Learning for Life and the Orange County Diocese of Orange.