A Big Day At The CMPD
What a way to begin a week! This morning more than 75 members of the Costa Mesa Police Department, City officials and staffers and family and friends gathered at the Emergency Operations Center to attend a very special ceremony - the promotion of one of their own and the welcoming of four new officers to the CMPD.
Police Chief Tom Gazsi first announced the promotion of Lieutenant Rob Sharpnack to the rank of Captain. He explained that this promotion was the result of a competitive exercise with other members of the CMPD. Chief Gazsi outlined a long list of assignments and accomplishments that caused him to select Sharpnack for this promotion. This is a great move for the CMPD and for all of us in the community.
Then Chief Gazsi introduced the four newest members of the Costa Mesa Police Department - Officers Curtis Hazell, Arnold Alegado, Ryan Novikoff and Jonathan Tripp. Hazell is a lateral transfer from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Alegado comes from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. Novikoff and Tripp are fresh out of the Fullerton Police Academy.
These men are the first officers hired by the Costa Mesa Police Department since 2008 and will fill positions of those soon to be retiring. It is our understanding that there will be at least four more officers hired later in the spring.
Mayor Jim Righeimer, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger, council woman Wendy Leece and Interim Fire Chief Tom Arnold were among those in attendance. At Chief Gazsi's invitation, Righeimer welcomed the new officers.
At a time when crime is up 20% in our city, the arrival of these new officers and the promotion of Sharpnack is good news. The CMPD is trying to keep us safe with significantly diminished resources - down from an authorized sworn officer count of 164 four years ago to an authorized strength of only 131 today. And, with the recently announced retirement of four members of Chief Gazsi's command staff, we can expect more changes soon.
Thanks, and good luck to all those brave folks who keep us safe every day.