Deputy Chief Joseph Gomez is no longer employed with the Vallejo Police Department after just nine months in the position, Open Vallejo has learned.

Gomez’s departure took members of the department by surprise, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal personnel matters. Although the circumstances of his separation from the city were not immediately clear, a department-wide email sent to police employees on Wednesday stated that Gomez had been separated from the department effective immediately.

Gomez could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Vallejo City Manager Michael Malone said he was not aware that Gomez was no longer with the city.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Malone said, adding that he was going to “make some calls.”

Vallejo police spokesperson Sgt. Rashad Hollis declined to comment on the nature of Gomez’s separation in a phone interview Wednesday but confirmed the deputy chief’s immediate departure. 

“We appreciate his dedicated service that he’s contributed to our police department and we wish him the best of luck on his future endeavors,” Hollis said.

Vallejo Police Capt. Robert Knight, a veteran of the department, was recently promoted to a second deputy chief position, sources told Open Vallejo.

Gomez began his law enforcement career in Clovis, Calif. in 1984. Two years later he joined the Fresno Police Department, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant, a position he held for nearly 12 years. Gomez stepped down to be a part-time, unpaid reserve officer in April of 2019. In March of 2020, he took a job as the police chief of Selma, Calif., a city of about 20,000 people a short drive from Fresno.

Sixteen months later, Selma municipal employees received an email stating that Gomez would be out of the office indefinitely, according to FOX26 News. He was fired in March of 2022 after a new city manager joined the city, public records show.

The reasons for his termination were “incompatibility of management styles” and a “change of administration,” according to public records.

Geoffrey King is the executive editor of Open Vallejo. Prior to founding Open Vallejo, Geoffrey worked as an attorney and journalist focused on free expression, open government, press freedom and privacy. He is a proud native of Vallejo, California.

Anna Bauman is an investigative reporter with Open Vallejo.