Gary Gee served as BART’s fourth Chief of Police from December 2000 until he retired in December 2009. Gee was with the department for nearly 37 years. He was hired in the early 1970s as an officer with the department after serving 5 and a half years as a police officer in Sausalito and San Rafael.
He was in charge of the department on Jan. 1, 2009, when former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed unarmed passenger Oscar Grant — an incident captured by video recorders and widely disseminated through local television and on the internet.
Gee and BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger would face weeks and months of widespread ridicule from the public and even BART personnel stemming from the incident. His leadership during the Grant incident was roundly criticized in a third party analysis that looked into the shooting death.
Even rank-and-file BART Police officers issued a no-confidence vote in Gee’s leadership.
A independent review done on the incident and BART Police assigned responsibility for the bungled response to the Grant incident and improper training for officers within the department.
Gee would announce his retirement from the force days before that report would be released. He left the agency on Dec. 30, 2009.
In interviews with local media, Gee acknowledged that the Grant shooting would probably mark his law enforcement legacy.
But his contributions — and fierce loyalty — to BART Police spanned nearly four decades. Until the Grant shooting, he held a polished reputation within the department and among Bay Area law enforcement. In his office, he had a framed collection of police shoulder patches from around the state and country — a testament to his commitment to public safety and service, colleagues said.
Gee oversaw a department of 206 sworn BART Police personnel and was an integral part in devising anti-terrorism policies for the transit agency following the September 11th attacks.
He was also one of the first Asian Americans in the country to lead a law enforcement organization.
Gee, now in retirement, was succeeded by Daschel Butler, a former Berkeley Police officer, while a search for his permanent replacement continues.
Information compiled from Beat research and news services