Citing his 28-year career in law enforcement and record of community involvement, Omaha Deputy Police Chief Greg Gonzalez announced that he will run for Douglas County Sheriff in the 2022 election.
His goals as Sheriff are to reduce crime, improve recruitment and retention of highly trained deputies, and to deliver quality services that protect families and make our county proud. Gonzalez plans to step up community engagement and involvement from neighborhood and stakeholder groups as he seeks to improve efficiencies.
An Omaha native, Gonzalez launched his career at the Sheriff’s Office, where he worked uniformed patrol and on a federal narcotics task force. He transferred to the Omaha Police Department in 1995 and has worked in high profile units, including undercover narcotics, homicide and gang units. He rose through the ranks and is the longest-tenured deputy chief at OPD.
Gonzalez serves on several local non-profit boards, including Mentor Nebraska and Police Athletics for Community Engagement (PACE). PACE sponsors free sports programs to promote self-esteem, discipline and positive values for young people. The program now serves over 6,000 area youth from 38 local ZIP codes. “I understand that sustainable crime reduction requires building trust and relationships by working hand in hand with community groups and members,” Gonzalez said.
As deputy chief, Gonzalez has secured millions of dollars in private funding and grant money to implement safety measures for officers and Omahans. He sees similar opportunities to enhance the Sheriff’s Office and the county.
“We need to continue to protect the public and offer the high level of service taxpayers expect,” said Gonzalez. “I am ready to serve in this office. I’ve overseen the hiring of 400 police recruits and a $56 million budget. I know how to lead and deliver professional law enforcement effectively and efficiently.”
Among his duties as deputy chief, Gonzalez led the Uniformed Patrol Bureau, supervising over 450 officers, and the Executive Services Bureau, where he oversees training and recruitment. He was instrumental in equipping Omaha’s police officers with body-worn cameras in 2018.
Gonzalez said there is a misnomer that Sheriff’s deputies are limited to serving rural areas of Douglas County. In fact, the office plays important roles countywide, including security for the downtown courts and local government offices; serving arrest warrants; and addressing major criminal activities like sex trafficking. “Criminals don’t know jurisdictions, the Sheriff serves the entire county,” he said.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has returned to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as an adjunct professor of criminology.
Among his many service recognitions, Gonzalez received the Kerrie Orozco Award by his peers, the Martin Luther King Jr. “Living the Dream Award” from the City of Omaha, UNO’s CPACS (College of Public Affairs and Community Service) Alumni Award, and he’s an inductee of the Omaha South High Hall of Fame. He has received sergeant and captain of the month awards and high intensity drug trafficking case of the year award.
Gonzalez and his wife, Kathy Belcastro Gonzalez, have three children. Kathy is a Captain on the Omaha Police Department and oversees the Southeast Police Precinct.