LODI – Jerry J. Adams, Lodi’s Chief of Police since 2000 and a member of the Lodi Police Department since 1979, announced Wednesday he is retiring effective Dec. 22.
Adams, 50, has been an advocate and advisor law enforcement groups throughout the region and state, serving president of the California Peace Officer Association in addition to positions on the Governor’s Medal of Valor Committee (as chairman) and the State Terrorism Threat Assessment Advisory Group.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as police chief in the same town that I graduated high school from,” Adams said Wednesday. “The Lodi Police Department has a professional and talented group of managers, supervisors and front-line staff who all provide professional and dedicated law enforcement services every day and I consider it an honor to have been associated with all of them.”
Adams succeeded Larry Hansen – now a member of the Lodi City Council – as chief in 2000. Among Adams’ highlights as chief were the construction of a $14 million police building and his election as president of the California Peace Officer Association for a one-year term in 2004.
“Jerry was linked in to the broader law-enforcement community in the State of California and had a close working relationship with the U.S. Attorney,” King said, “and in Lodi, Jerry maintained the ability of the department to provide high-quality law enforcement in a period of financial austerity, and that is worthy of note.”
Adams began his law enforcement career in 1972, serving as a volunteer Lodi Police Explorer while a Lodi High School sophomore. His first job as a sworn officer was in 1978, as a deputy for the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, before being hired by Lodi in 1979.
Adams was promoted quickly up the ranks, becoming a lieutenant at age 31 and a captain at age 32. He commanded the Lodi Police Department’s SWAT team and over the years headed the department’s three divisions: Administrative Services, Investigations and Operations. In the meantime, he earned two master’s degrees.
In retirement, Adams plans to continue teaching criminal justice courses at San Joaquin Delta College, where he has been an instructor the past 25 years, and offer his experience as a consultant.
“ Lodi is not just a place to work, it’s where I grew up and it’s where my family and I call home,” Adams said. “We all have the opportunity to make it a better place and that’s what I always try to do.”
Adams directed a department with nearly 80 sworn officers, 120 full-time staff members and another 130 volunteers. King said he anticipates an open recruitment for Adams’ successor.