Richard Word, MPA, Police Services Specialist
Chief Word has 30 years of law enforcement experience. He formally began his law enforcement career at the Oakland Police Department in 1984 and rapidly rose through the ranks to become Oakland’s youngest Chief of Police in 1999. As Chief, he commanded a force of approximately 1,200 total personnel, including over 700 sworn members, with a budget exceeding $160 million. In his first year as Chief, Oakland saw its lowest number of homicides in over 30 years. In 2004, Chief Word joined the Vacaville Police Department as its Chief of Police, where he served until his retirement in 2013. In 2014, Chief Word served as the interim Chief of Police for the Pinole Police Department. He also served as President of the California Police Chiefs Association in 2007, and he continues to teach both the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training certified Basic Internal Affairs Course and the Supervisors Course at the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training Center. Chief Word has conducted several police misconduct investigations, and he has served as a police procedures consultant for several law enforcement agencies.
Throughout Chief Word’s career, he has responded to, participated in, supervised, and reviewed major crowd control and protest/civil unrest events. He has also continually endeavored to build community trust, support, and confidence in the agencies he has commanded. Some of these efforts include the establishment of a police and corrections team at the Oakland Police Department. Such a team worked closely with State Parole, meeting with newly released prison inmates to direct them to local services to ensure their successful reentry into the community. In Oakland, Chief Word also included community members on police hiring and promotional panels, and he maintained several minority community police advisory groups. In Vacaville, the Police Department employed a number of Master Social Workers and Family Support Workers who worked closely with police detectives assigned to a Family Investigative Response Services Team and police officers assigned to Vacaville’s public schools.
Chief Word holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. Chief Word is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI National Executive Institute.