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Gourley hired as Oklahoma City Police Chief

Post Date:07/08/2019 11:12 AM

Oklahoma City Manager Craig Freeman announced the selection of Wade Gourley as the next Police Chief.

Gourley has been an Oklahoma City police officer for 30 years and was most recently one of the Police Department’s four Deputy Chiefs. He succeeds former Police Chief Bill Citty, who concluded a 41-year career when he retired in May after 15 years in the top job.

“We held a thorough and deliberative hiring process, and choosing a Police Chief is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions I’ve had to make as City Manager,” said Freeman. “Chief Gourley fits the mold of what we’re looking for: He’s open, honest, innovative and experienced, and he will lead by example. I’m confident he will lead our Police Department to continue to serve and protect all residents in a fair and equitable manner.”

Gourley will report to Kenton Tsoodle, one of Oklahoma City’s three Assistant City Managers. They report to the City Manager, who is the chief administrative officer of the City’s Council-Manager form of government.

Gourley is Oklahoma City’s 50th Chief of Police. He will oversee the 1,235 uniformed officers and 304 other staff members in the Police Department.

“I am truly honored to be selected as Chief for the greatest police department in the country,” said Gourley. “During my three decades of service, I’ve strived to make our organization better by building community relationships, developing leaders and mentoring other officers. I’m excited to work together to continue progress on the challenges of criminal justice reform, recruiting a diverse staff of outstanding police officers, improving officer wellness and building collaborative relationships across Oklahoma City.”

Deputy Chief Jeff Becker had been serving as interim Police Chief since Citty’s retirement.

About Chief Gourley

Gourley, 51, has been involved in some of the most notable evolutions in the modern Police Department: de-escalation training, new approaches to problem crime areas, improving the work environment for officers, developing leaders and community outreach.

Gourley started his career as a police officer in Chickasha, then joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in September 1989.

He spent the early part of his career on patrol and as a field training officer, moving around the department as he earned promotions to work in Investigations, Administration, Emergency Services and the Uniform Support Division, and as a crisis negotiator, the Tactical Team commander and the Director of Training. He also developed the Leadership, Ethics and Accountability Development (LEAD) program.

In the City’s annual resident survey, the Police Department and other public safety services are routinely among the highest-rated City services. Those ratings are due in part to the scenario-based training, support for officers and public outreach developed by Gourley, Citty and the rest of the Police Department leadership under the guidance of the City Council.

Gourley has a Bachelor of Arts degree in police administration from the University of Oklahoma. Other significant training includes the Anti-Defamation League Advanced Training School in Extremist and Terrorist Threats, FBI Executive Leadership Institute, Senior Management Institute for Police and the FBI Crisis Negotiations Course. He’s a member of several law enforcement groups and local organizations, including serving as a board member for the American Red Cross of Central & Southwest Oklahoma.

Gourley is a lifelong Oklahoma resident with roots in Ardmore, living in south Oklahoma City for most of his career. Gourley and his wife, Tracy, have been married for 27 years and have two children, Brandon and Alyson.

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Media Contacts
Kristy Yager, OKC Public Informtion & Marketing
(405) 297-2550 / (405) 863-2831

Capt. Bo Mathews, OKC Police Department
(405) 316-4703 

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