Walt Tibbet retired as chief of the Fairfield Police Department in March 2015 after more than 40 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career in 1972 with the Alameda Police Department. In 1980, he joined the San Jose Police Department where he served for 26 years advancing through the ranks to Captain. In July, 2006, he returned to the Alameda Police Department as its Chief of Police. During his four years as Chief, he restructured the Department, increased efficiencies in departmental operations, and improved training opportunities for members of the Department. He also enhanced the Department’s presence in the community through various outreach efforts. He was named chief in Fairfield in 2010.
While a member of the San Jose Police Department, he completed a wide range of assignments in each of the department’s four Bureaus. He served as the Commander of various units within the Department including the Special Operations Division’s Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Gang Investigations Unit, Community Services Division, and the Bureau of Technical Services where he was charged with the implementation of emerging technologies throughout the Department. He worked extensively in developing community and business collaborations, and served as the Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force. Chief Tibbet was awarded the San Jose Police Department’s Medal of Valor, a Hazardous Duty Award, and two City Council Commendations. He was also a recipient of the National Exchange Club’s Blue and Gold Wounded in Service Award.
Chief Tibbet is a past Chairman of the Solano County Law Enforcement Administrators Association, a Board Member for the California Police Chiefs Association and Fight Crime – Invest in Kids organizations, and an Advisory Board Member for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Public Safety Academy.
He holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology from California State University, Hayward with an emphasis of study including Organizational Development, Cross-Cultural Consultation, and Substance Abuse prevention and treatment. He has a Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Management from St. Mary’s College of Moraga, California. Chief Tibbet is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.