Lieutenant, Irvine (CA) Police Department
My name is Garon (Gary) Wyatt. I started my career at Irvine PD in 1988, when I was 21 years old. A career in law enforcement was not actually my first choice. I wanted to work in wildlife research and live in Southern Africa. I was working my way through college in retail security and a few friends wanted to join the academy. I was barely passing pre-calculus and had two semesters of calculus ahead of me so my wildlife research career was not looking promising.
I had learned that I was pretty good at spotting crooks in the retail security sector, so I agreed to join the academy with my two buddies. Six weeks into the Golden West Academy we had career day. I was given two conditional job offers, one by Irvine, CA. Since I knew where Irvine was I chose Irvine.
I went on to spend just under 30 years with Irvine, the last 15 of which we ranked as “America’s Safest City” each year. I worked a variety of assignments including Patrol, Field Training Officer (FTO), and Detectives. I was promoted to Sergeant in 2003 and worked Patrol, Special Investigations, Special Events, and Professional Standards.
In detectives I had the opportunity to work three different task forces. I enjoyed detectives, and always had a knack for identifying dopers. The highlight of my detective career was receiving the IACP ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation for solving a 20 year string of residential burglaries.
Overall, the highlight of my career was having the opportunity to represent the men and women of IPD as the President of the Irvine Police Association for four years. This opportunity also fueled my passion for supporting fallen officers and their families. I served on the Board of Directors for the California Peace Officers Memorial Fund for seven years.
I am grateful to my wife, Debbie, who stood beside me start to finish.
I ultimately retired as a Lieutenant in December 2018, just a few months shy of 30 years. I still believe that Law Enforcement is the most noble career there is. I urge all of you still serving to serve with pride, and to never allow your actions to tarnish our great profession.
God bless and stay safe!