Posted on 30 Comments


Unfortunately Tom passed today around 2:30. He was at Good Sam. 
Prayers for Tom and his family
Editor’s Note: More info to follow when, and if, available.


  1. I worked with Tom in the Vice Unit from 1976 to 1981. He was funny, crazy and a great officer. Had many laughs and some memorable times together. May you rest in peace TW. You will always be remembered .

    1. RIP Chief. You were a great man and a great cop. You’re contributions to Keith Kelley while I was President and over all the years was more than appreciated. Your stories were always the best. May God Bless you and your family.

  2. Tom and his father, Merlin, were iconic members of the SJPD. The department would certainly not have been the same without them.
    I had the privilege of working the very beginnings of the BPU with Tom. Quietly a bit of a maverick. Totally committed to the cause, fearless and innovative.
    His passing is a real loss to all of us who worked closely with him.

  3. As a civilian/non-sworn in the Permits Unit of the Department, Chief Wheatley always treated me respectfully, and it was reciprocated. But he was known to throw out a few zingers!

    Rest In Peace Wheat, you will be missed. 💖

  4. Tom was such a great guy and I always found him to be very easy going.
    I remember when I first met Tom, he was working security for Payless drugs on Stevens Creek, by Winchester Blvd. I was working dayshift patrol and I got a lot of calls to Payless to pickup or cite shoplifters. I never saw anyone as dedicated to this endeavor as Tom was. I was out there almost everyday, at least once per shift. If I didn’t get a call there, I knew Tom must be off for the day. He took this job seriously, as he should have, and he was a natural, just as he always was when he got hired at SJPD. He had a great career and was very well liked as well. He will be missed.

  5. Tom was a class act who never forgot where he came from. He was never afraid to cut through red tape and bureaucracy and make decisions. He was often found in the field showing up to help when needed. You could always count on his support when you were right. One of a kind who I always enjoyed working with.

  6. Worked with “T. W.” when he joined us in the high-energy Vice Unit during the latter half of my tour, there. Worked with and around him several times thereafter. Did a couple of long distance road trips with him, in P.D. capacity, to attend L.A. area training events. He was quite a card, but could always shift gears and get serious when it was time. Great guy to share duty and responsibilities with. Am sad we lost contact in recent years, since both of our retirements. May his memory be eternal. “Αιωνία η μνήμή του.”

  7. I worked for Tom in D-3 Mids when he first became a sergeant. He was fearless and resourceful. We followed him without hesitation. A good cop and a great man.
    RIP Wheat.

  8. Back in 1973 I was a Reserve Officer who had the privilege of riding with then Officer Wheatley. He was patient with me and showed me the ropes. A great man and a cops cop.

  9. If someone said for one day you were half as good as Tom was…… would be getting high praise. We will not his kind this way again. From code3 shooting at a Fryman, to standing shoulder to shoulder in any fight. No better man. No better friend.

  10. This is very sad news about a great cop, a great leader and a great friend. Condolences to his family and loved ones. RIP Wheat. God Bless you.

  11. RIP Tom. Will never forget our time in the Narcotics Unit. Thank you for helping me navigate through some personal health issues. You were the best!

  12. The SJPD family has lost a great cop and outstanding leader. I have lost my best friend. Rough getting over this.

    1. Oh John Low, you were loved by our beloved, sensitive, irascible, funny, dedicated, not enough words to describe Tom. Thank you for loving him and being his partner and friend.
      Charmaine Wheatley Reedy

    2. You got that right – so special to a lot of people …. For me a great friend who called me on my birthday every year & helped me though some tough times! He was special & will not be forgotten!

  13. Truly an awesome neighbor for over 30 years literally sharing fences and pool and setting a great example for our five children.

  14. Tom was one of a kind. Great cop and great administrator, Great fighter for justice and a great fighter against the big C. God bless Tom and his family. All of us “old-timers” were so fortunate to have associated with Tom.

  15. Tom was a cop’s cop and one of the best I worked for. We had great times and one of the few who showed me respect and understood who I was. Thank you Tom and I will miss you. Thanks for the great memories. You will not be forgotten!

  16. Tom was already a legend when I started with SJPD. He was a great cop and one that anyone could learn a great deal from. A good leader as well. The world has lost a great man. RIP Chief.

  17. Tom was one of a kind. He was a true friend, mentor and always watched out for the people he cared for. I will miss him dearly, but someday we will be cocktailing and joking again. Heaven has truly received an angel.

  18. Had the pleasure of working with and for Tom’s dad Merlin aka:”Fastest Sap Alive”..He was also a very good fast pitch softball player. I have known Tom since before he joined SJPD. I think they broke the mold after Tom. He had the ability to talk with people at all levels which he clearly demonstrated . He was one of the best street cops I have ever known. Tom loved his job no matter what level he was at, He loved the department and the men and women that wore the blue and always had your back. His last years were mostly filled with a lot of pain and suffering and he didn’t deserve that, but, it seems that was his choice most of the time. Tom loved his family and will be sorely missed. He was a Cops Cop. No more suffering and no more pain, God Bless you Tom . I ‘m better for having known you, Dick Frechette

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