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CARLSBAD, Calif. (CNS) – Mickey Williams, assistant chief of the Carlsbad Police Department, will assume leadership of the agency following the planned Sept. 6 retirement Chief Neil Gallucci, it was announced Friday.

“Keeping the community safe is the single most important role of local government,” City Manager Scott Chadwick said. “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.”

Williams, a 26-year department veteran, has been instrumental 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 ensuring peaceful resolutions of potentially volatile incidents, Chadwick said.

The efforts led to a “model de-escalation philosophy” eventually adopted by every law enforcement agency in San Diego County, according to the city manager.

Williams, who was promoted to the post of assistant chief in 2018, led Carlsbad’s response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, working closely with organizers to create a safe and respectful environment, Chadwick said.

Recently, Williams oversaw the city’s engagement with the community on the issues of civilian oversight and homelessness through a series of public meetings.

Williams said he is “very proud to step into this new leadership role.”

“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,” he said. “At the end of the day, effective policing is based on trust and mutual understanding.”

In a community survey taken in March, 72% of participants reported a “high level” of trust in the city police force, and 42% put that assessment at “very high,” according to the city manager’s office.

Williams has held positions in all divisions of the department, including patrol, investigations, traffic and administration. He was named Officer of the Year for the agency in 2001 and for the county at large the following year.

The longtime Carlsbad resident is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute, the Los Angeles Police Department Leadership Program and the FBI National Academy.

A husband and father of two daughters, Williams holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice administration and a master’s degree in public administration, both from San Diego State University. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern California University School of Law and recently became a member of the State Bar.

Williams will host a series of community meetings next month to introduce himself to locals and get their input on how best to serve their law enforcement needs, Chadwick said.

Gallucci, a 34-year law enforcement veteran, has served as Carlsbad police chief since August 2015.

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