After leading the Concord Police Department for over eight years, Chief Gary Gacek is stepping away from his distinguished 33-year law enforcement career to join Eli Lilly’s Global Security Team. He will be based out of Lilly’s Concord location.
During a Monday meeting, Gacek informed City Manager Lloyd Payne of his intention to retire. Gacek’s last day will be September 30, 2023.
“Chief Gacek has been an innovative leader for the City of Concord, pushing our Police Department to achieve the highest standards of public safety,” said Payne. “Through his outstanding and visible leadership, Chief Gacek has fostered trust and openness between the residents in our city and the brave men and women who serve us each day. He will be missed but I wish him the very best as he retires from his decorated law enforcement career and begins the next chapter in his life.”
During Gacek’s tenure, the City of Concord has experienced historic population growth. The City has grown over 33% in the last 10 years and is now the 10th largest and sixth fastest growing city in North Carolina. At the same time, thanks to his leadership, the City has experienced record low crime rates. Total crime in Concord has decreased more than 45% over the last 10 years. The City consistently ranks as one of North Carolina’s safest, and is one of only two cities with a population over 100,000 to make the list of the Top 20 Safest Cities in the state.
“I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished to create safe communities where families and businesses can flourish. It has been my honor to serve alongside such dedicated men and women who work tirelessly to create a sense of security for all the people we serve in Concord,” said Gacek. “Serving as Concord’s Chief of Police has been the highlight of my career. After more than three decades in law enforcement, it’s time for me to move on, but I have the utmost confidence in the next generation of leadership.”
Gacek set a path for continued success in Concord through strategic investments in leadership and management training to prepare the next generation of leaders. He was instrumental in leading the Concord Police Department to achieve national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This is the gold standard in public safety and an accomplishment fewer than 5% of law enforcement agencies nationwide achieve.
Gacek was also a tremendous source of strength and comfort for the Department and the community following the line-of-duty-death of one of Concord’s police officers in 2020. During a time of healing after this tragedy, he helped form the Concord Police Foundation. The Foundation supports Concord Police Department employees and their families and community policing programs that enhance the public’s safety.
Beginning October 1, Deputy Chief Jimmy Hughes will serve as interim Chief of Police. The City will conduct a nationwide search to select Gacek’s successor.