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Police chief resigns
Hampton made lasting impression on city
Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton

Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton, who has modernized the department and brought it up to a new level of staffing and service, is resigning from the position he has held for the last five years.

Hampton’s resignation will take effect July 31. He said he is in discussions with a few potential employers in both the public and private sector, but that no final decision has been made about his future employment.

“Gary Hampton has been one of the finest police chiefs in Turlock’s history and we will miss him dearly,” said Turlock Mayor John Lazar. “Turlock is a safer place because of Gary Hampton.”

Hampton took over the helm of the Turlock Police Department in 2006, and gave the city a five-year commitment. At the beginning of his tenure Hampton instituted a three-year strategic plan that sought to bring the department up to full-staffing levels, secure a new home for the growing department, implement tactics that help the department operate on a proactive basis rather than reactive, and improve the quality of life in the community.

“I was brought here to bring change,” Hampton said. “As a department we have reached levels that exceeded my expectations. My departure is the natural progression the department has been moving towards the last five years.”

Under Hampton’s leadership the Turlock Police Department has enacted new street crime and narcotics units, broken ground on a new public safety facility and reduced major crimes in the city by 20 percent over the last three years.

“I have accomplished all the objectives and goals I set out to do and can walk out the door with my head held high,” Hampton said.

As an example of the achievements the police department has made, Hampton pointed to an award recently bestowed to the department by the NAACP.

The “Leading the Way through Excellence” award was given to the Turlock Police Department for the strides they have made in cultural diversity and the contributions they have made to the community. NAACP chapter President Frank Johnson commended the department for the relationships they have forged and suggested they could serve as a model to other law enforcement agencies.

Hampton said an individual familiar with the department will be stepping in as the interim police chief, but the name of the individual will not be released until later this month.

Hampton said he has no qualms about the ability of the department to continue operating at the standards they have set.

“I’ve prepared them for my departure and they won’t skip a beat,” he said.

“The department has a very clear and proven strategic plan and a strong leadership team comprised of highly skilled command and supervisory staff,” Hampton said in a statement to the department. “The leadership strength, in conjunction with the department’s sworn, non-sworn and volunteer staff, who are of the highest caliber within the profession today, insures the continued future progress and success of the organization. Turlock PD takes second seat to no other law enforcement entity within the region.”

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.