After a career spanning 30 years in law enforcement, Livermore Police Chief Michael Harris announced on Wednesday that he plans to retire next month. Harris has led the Livermore Police Department since joining the force in 2013.
“As excited as I am about the next chapter in my life, this was not an easy decision to make,” said Harris. “Over the past seven years, I have come to love this place. I am proud of what the Livermore Police Department has accomplished in partnership with the community and know that the LPD will continue to do great things.”
Harris spearheaded the development of the department's "six pillars" -- public safety and crime prevention; accountability and public trust; community engagement; quality service; innovation and best practices; and employee development, wellness and succession planning) -- which have served as a "foundation of values and priorities for the organization," according to a statement.
He also developed the Area Command model to bolster the department's relationship with the community and expanded community outreach programs like Coffee with a Cop, Citizen's Police Academy, and Stuff-A-Cruiser. Harris also prioritized hiring "community-oriented" officers like the 39 staff members hired during his tenure.
In a statement, Mayor John Marchand called it "an honor" to work with Harris and wished him well.
“It was under Chief Harris’ leadership that the city started the Drug House Nuisance Abatement Ordinance to get drug houses out of our neighborhoods,” Marchand said. “I have appreciated his leadership and professionalism as he has built and maintained an outstanding police department of which our community is rightfully proud. I wish him and his family all of the best for a long and healthy retirement.”
Harris is a graduate of California State University Stanislaus, where he received a bachelor's in criminal justice, and holds a master's in emergency services administration from California State University Long Beach. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the International Association of Chiefs of Police "Leadership in Police Organizations" program.
Starting as an officer with the Oakdale police in 1990, Harris soon transferred to the Modesto Police Department and worked his way from officer to captain while there before joining the Livermore police in 2013.
Harris' retirement is effective Aug. 14. The city has started the recruiting process for a new chief of police and said they will start accepting applications in the next few weeks.