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UC Davis police chief leaving for University of Oregon post

Matt Carmichael.
Matt Carmichael. UC Davis

UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael is leaving the Aggies for the Ducks.

Carmichael will officially leave UC Davis on Thursday to lead the Police Department at the University of Oregon in Eugene, according to a UC Davis news release. Lt. Jennifer Garcia, an officer with the department since 2000, has been named interim chief.

Carmichael became acting chief in November 2011 and was sworn in as interim chief the following April. He took over after then-Chief Annette Spicuzza was placed on administrative leave following the pepper-spraying of students that garnered nationwide attention. He was appointed to the permanent position in May 2014, following a nationwide search for a new chief.

“From his first day as chief, Matt has served this community with skill, vision and integrity,” Acting Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter said in a written statement. “While we are happy for Matt’s new opportunity, we are extremely sorry to see him go, but take comfort in knowing he has helped build a first-rate campus police force that serves UC Davis very well. We know he will do more great work in Oregon and wish Matt and his family nothing but the best.”

University officials credited Carmichael with establishing or expanding numerous initiatives to build ties between the department and the campus community, and to improve security on campus. New programs included a student advisory council, an independent police advisory board that oversees complaints of misconduct by officers; a cadet academy for students; a global liaison unit, which works with international students on campus and those from underrepresented groups; an outreach unit to promote campus safety and department programs; and a police K-9 unit.

Lt. Garcia will serve as interim chief while the university searches for Carmichael’s successor. She began her law enforcement career working in the UC Davis dispatch center. In 2000, she applied for a position as a UC Davis police officer and has served with the department since then.

The UC Davis Police Department includes 50 sworn officers, who have the same authority as municipal police officers; non-sworn protective services officers, who provide security at the UC Davis Medical Center and outlying areas; and 120 student Aggie hosts, who perform security functions on campus.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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