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Chief Mickey Williams (Photo courtesy: City of Carlsbad)

26-year Department Veteran to be Carlsbad’s Next Police Chief

Carlsbad CA—Assistant Police Chief Mickey Williams will become the City of Carlsbad’s next police chief following the retirement Sept. 6 of Police Chief Neil Gallucci. According to City Manager Scott Chadwick, the 26-year department veteran was chosen after playing key roles in the department’s transition to a new era of law enforcement focused on crime prevention through community collaboration, diversity and trust.

“Keeping the community safe is the single most important role of local government,” said Chadwick. “Mickey Williams has proven himself to be a thoughtful and collaborative leader who will be ready on day-one to continue the Carlsbad Police Department’s successful transition into a new era of policing.”

Since becoming Assistant Police Chief in 2018, Williams has played a key role in several high-profile initiatives, including ushering in greater use of technology, increasing community collaboration and working with regional law enforcement agencies on new approaches to de-escalation. This work led to a model de-escalation philosophy eventually adopted by every law enforcement agency in San Diego County.

Williams also led Carlsbad’s response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, working closely with organizers to create a safe and respectful environment. Most recently, he has overseen the City of Carlsbad’s engagement with the community on the issues of civilian oversight and homelessness. Through a series of public meetings and a community survey in March 2021, 72% of participants reported a high level of trust in the Carlsbad Police Department, including 42% reporting a “very high” level of trust.

“I am very proud to step into this new leadership role,” said Williams. “The Carlsbad Police Department has always been known not just for a high level of service and professionalism, but for the strong relationships we have with the community. At the end of the day, effective policing is based on trust and mutual understanding,” said Williams.

Williams has worked for the Carlsbad Police Department for over 26 years, holding positions in all divisions of the department, including patrol, investigations, traffic and administration. He was the department’s Police Officer of the year in 2001, and the San Diego County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2002.  Williams is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute, the Los Angeles Police Department Leadership Program, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Diego State University, a Master’s in Public Administration from San Diego State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern California University School of Law. Williams recently became a licensed member of the California Bar.

A long-time Carlsbad resident, Williams is married with two daughters.

Prior to officially assuming his new role as Police Chief, Williams will host a series of community meetings in August.  Dates, times and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

Gallucci has worked in law enforcement for 34 years, including serving as Chief since August 2015. He is widely recognized for his effective leadership during a time of significant change affecting nearly all aspects of police work, from the use of new tools and technology to community-oriented policing and cybercrime.

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