MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Modesto Police Department has hired a new police chief after a “comprehensive nationwide search and extensive community input,” the city announced Tuesday in a press release.
Brandon Gillespie has been serving as the department’s interim chief since December 2020 and will officially begin as police chief on Aug. 17.
Gillespie has been employed with the Modesto Police Department since 2001, the city said. He previously served as assistant police chief for two years.
The city of Modesto began looking for a new police chief in March.
City officials said surveys were distributed to the general public and employees within the police department to gather feedback on what the community wanted in a new chief.
Of all the outstanding candidates that applied for this position, Brandon’s qualities and skills best align with what our community needs right now. Throughout his long history serving Modesto, Brandon has shown to be a leader of integrity and compassion. He is ready to guide the Modesto Police Department through its next evolution.Joe Lopez, Modesto City Manager
The city said in the release survey answers showed “being a strong leader for the officers, strength to make unpopular decisions, and ability to relate with individuals from all ranks of the department” were important.
“The community is looking for a leader to reduce police use of force, reduce racial disparities, and address homelessness,” the city added.
Chief Gillespie clearly demonstrated his knowledge and support of 21st-century policing practices. His leadership will be critical to making Modesto a safer, more welcoming, more equitable place.Sue Zwahlen, Modesto Mayor