City Government, Community, Police Department

On the passing of Charlie Plummer

March 13, 2018

Charlie Plummer - photo courtesy of Cindi Christie, Contra Costa Times

Photo courtesy of: Cindi Christie, Contra Costa Times

Flags were lowered to half-staff in Hayward and across Alameda County last week in honor of Charles “Charlie” Plummer, the former sheriff, police chief and one of Hayward’s most prominent residents, who passed away March 4, 2018. Sheriff Plummer was 87.

A pioneer of modern policing, Plummer was a lawman for 54 years. He became Hayward’s seventh Chief of Police in 1976, after joining the Berkeley Police Department in 1952 and rising to the position of Acting Chief of Police. In 1986, Alameda County voters elected him their 21st sheriff. He served for 20 years, retiring in 2007.

During his 10 years as Hayward police chief, Plummer was a leader of community-oriented policing. He established HPD’s Youth and Family Services Bureau, increased officer training, brought HPD its first Computer-Aided Dispatch capability and made sure Hayward’s was the first police department west of the Mississippi River to receive national accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., the gold-standard in public-safety assessment in the United States.

“To those under his command,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “he was well known for his ‘cardinal sins’ code of conduct which specified that a deputy or officer must never lie, make offensive ethnic remarks, use drugs, commit sexual harassment, or accept ‘gratuities.’” After retirement, Plummer maintained an office at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Office of Emergency Services, becoming “Sheriff Emeritus” and keeping regular hours while working on a variety of projects.

Plummer is survived by his daughter, Pamela Rossi, sons Larry and Chris Plummer, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Donations in his honor can be mailed to the 100 Club, 767 Brannan Place, Concord, CA 94518, or Salvation Army Hayward Corps, 430 A Street, Hayward, CA, 94541. Write in the check memo, “In memory of Charles C. Plummer.” Cards may be mailed to the Plummer Family, c/o Undersheriff Rich Lucia, 1401 Lakeside Drive, 12th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612.