Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley has been a law enforcement professional for 28 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 having 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 managers at the San Diego Regional Training Center. She was the Program Coordinator for the 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. 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 named a recipient of the Spurgeon Award by Exploring Learning for Life of Orange County.
Chief Gomez-Whiteley serves on a number of boards, including the Cypress Police Foundation, Fullerton College Police Academy Chiefs’ Advisory Council, Orange County Exploring Learning for Life, and YMCA. Additionally, she serves as Secretary on the Executive Board of the Cypress College Foundation, Chair for the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center Chief’s Advisory Board, and Chair of the Integrated Law and Justice Agency of Orange County. Chief Gomez-Whiteley is 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, Orange County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association, California Peace Officers’ Association, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.