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Matt Carmichael appointed police chief

April 19, 2012

The chancellor shakes hands with Carmichael children.

UC Davis' new police chief, Matthew Carmichael, introduces his children to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

Matthew Carmichael was sworn in today (April 19) as chief of the University of California, Davis, Police Department, with Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi administering the oath of office.

The ceremony took place at midafternoon in the Activities and Recreation Center Ballroom before an audience that included Carmichael’s family and members of the Police Department and the broader campus community.

Carmichael is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, the last 10 years as a lieutenant at UC Davis. He had served as acting chief since Nov. 21.

Katehi announced Carmichael’s appointment in a message to the campus community, saying his service as acting chief for the last five months “has been extraordinary, during some very demanding circumstances.”

Carmichael succeeds Annette Spicuzza, who announced her resignation April 18. She had been on administrative leave while the campus conducted an internal affairs investigation into the Nov. 18 pepper-spraying of demonstrators on the Quad.

In her message to the campus, Katehi praised Carmichael for reaching out to students, faculty and staff, and developing many strong, positive relationships.

“He is highly respected as a leader, adviser and innovator not only within our department and across our campus, but also throughout the law enforcement community,” Katehi wrote.

Carmichael said his top priority in the next few months will be to rebuild the relationship between the police and the campus community. “We’re going to be out meeting people and hearing about your needs and concerns,” he said. “We’re here to serve the campus community and keep it a safe place to work and live.”

Carmichael’s appointment as chief is for one year. During the latter part of his term, the campus will launch a national search for a new police chief.

Katehi also announced a shift in oversight of the Police Department — effective May 1 and on an interim basis — from the vice chancellor of Administrative and Resource Management, a post held by John Meyer, to the provost and executive vice chancellor, Ralph J. Hexter, who serves as the campus’s chief academic and operating officer.

“This transfer will ensure that, going forward, the department will be closely aligned with our core academic mission and values,” Katehi said.

Carmichael, who holds an associate’s degree in administration of justice from Napa Valley College, joined the UC Davis Police Department as a lieutenant in 2002. He has been responsible for patrol operations on the Davis campus, as well as serving as a public information officer.

He has managed the K-9 Program, Property and Evidence, Bike Unit, Crime Prevention, Crime Analysis, Detective Unit, Field Training Officer Program and Hostage Negotiations Team.

Before coming to UC Davis, he worked in the Pinole Police Department (Contra Costa County), where he started his law enforcement career in 1985. He was recognized as Officer of the Year in Pinole and Pinole Citizen of the Year.

At UC Davis, he has been the recipient of the chief’s Appreciation Award, the Centennial to Society Award and the Calvin E. Handy Leadership Award, named after a former police chief.

Carmichael received an Award of Distinction from the California Peace Officers Association, and twice received an Award of Merit for Outstanding and Superior Conduct from the California College and University Police Chiefs Association. He also is the recipient of U.S. attorney and Marshals Service awards.

He serves as the coordinator for the UC Davis Police Department’s participation in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, in support of the Special Olympics, and assists in fundraising for the Concerns of Police Survivors program.

The father of four also is active in the community, as an Exchange Club member, music boosters president and Cub Scout leader, and on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House.

The UC Davis Police Department is a state police agency that provides patrol, investigative and crime prevention services on the Davis campus and at the UC Davis Health System in Sacramento.

Established on the Davis campus in 1946, the department is authorized by the California Education Code and California Penal Code and certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Training and Standards. 

The department has a total staff of 74 including 54 sworn officers. It also oversees the Aggie Hosts program, through which about 80 trained students provide safety, security and hospitality services on campus.

View a Sacramento Bee photo gallery of the event or watch video coverage on Davis Patch.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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