Grass Valley names Gammelgard new chief of police |

Grass Valley names Gammelgard new chief of police

Grass Valley Police Officer Alex Gammelgard was promoted to lieutenant in 2014.
The Union archive photo |

The city of Grass Valley has named Lt. Alex Gammelgard as its new police chief, replacing John Foster.

Foster officially retired at the end of 2015 after 17 years — but agreed to stay on an interim basis while city staff worked to find a replacement for him.

City Manager Bob Richardson said the position was only opened to internal candidates, and both Gammelgard and Lt. Steve Johnson applied for the post.

“After several interviews, both candidates demonstrated excellent aptitude for the job,” Richardson said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “Simply stated, Grass Valley is blessed to have two very fine local professionals capable of stepping into the role of police chief. Most communities would be fortunate to have one.

“The Grass Valley Police Department is a professional and productive organization,” Richardson added. “Both lieutenants have contributed greatly to this success. And the decision to focus on an internal candidate was predicated on keeping this management team together.”

A Nevada Union High School graduate, Gammelgard went on to obtain his bachelors of business administration degree from Gonzaga University in Washington. He lives locally with his wife, Erica, and two boys, and is an 11-year veteran of the police department.

“I am honored to be the next chief of police for Grass Valley — and to do my part to keep the community I love and live in safe,” Gammelgard said. “The Grass Valley Police Department is made up of a great group of individuals who function as a cohesive team. I am looking forward to the opportunities the future holds, for both the police department and the city of Grass Valley.”

Gammelgard’s promotion to chief is pending City Council approval of his contract at the March 22 council meeting. He will receive a salary of $150,000.

The police chief oversees a department with 28 sworn and civilian staff, eight reserve officers and 15 volunteers, according to the city website.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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