Mr. Gesell completed a distinguished 20-year career
with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department rising to
the rank of division commander responsible for 100
sworn and civilian employees. He has a diverse
professional background in policing that includes
positions such as patrol officer, bicycle patrol
officer, undercover narcotics detective, U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration task force agent,
internal affairs investigator, basic training
sergeant, and detective sergeant. His mid and upper
management positions include service as a patrol
watch commander, oversight of a section comprised of
specialty patrol-based units, command over a
multi-agency section comprised of covert units that
primarily focused on drug enforcement and organized
crime investigations leveraging key partnerships
with the DEA, FBI and IRS, SWAT team commander, and
finally division commander with oversight over all
specialty patrol-based units as well as Detention.
In late 2009, Mr. Gesell was selected as a commander
for the Atascadero Police Department following a
national recruitment. Mr. Gesell was responsible for
guiding staff members through the strategic planning
process, ultimately resulting in the construction of
a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan. Additionally,
Mr. Gesell served as the interim Atascadero police
chief throughout the majority of 2011 and is
credited for playing a significant role in the
national recruitment for a permanent police chief.
Mr. Gesell was selected as San Luis Obispoís Chief
of Police following a national recruitment in
January of 2012. His appointment fulfilled an
eight-year personal objective to return to his
hometown as chief of police.
Mr. Gesell holds an undergraduate degree in Justice
Studies with a minor in psychology from Arizona
State University as well as a Masterís Degree in
Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona
University. He is also a graduate of Northwestern
Universityís School of Police Staff and Command in
addition to the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administrationís Drug Unit Commanders Academy.
Teaching has been a passion throughout his career.
He has taught numerous courses at Arizonaís largest
police academy, served as an adjunct community
college instructor, and most recently served as an
adjunct instructor for Northwestern University
teaching interpersonal and organizational
communication to police managers around the country.
Mr. Gesell was raised primarily in San Luis Obispo
and graduated from San Luis Obispo High School. Mr.
Gesellís father, Laurence Gesell, once served as the
San Luis Obispo County Airport manager and still
owns a home within SLO County. Mr. Gesell and his
wife Nesa have three children; Lauren, and twins
Lindsey and Nathan.