Thursday, March 14, 2013

CMPD Promotions and Hiring Ceremony

This morning I had the great honor to attend a ceremony in city council chambers at which Costa Mesa Police Chief Tom Gazsi recognized the promotions of several staffers, the hiring of others and the retirement of two men with accumulated services years nearly equal to the age of our city.  The auditorium was packed with well-wishers, residents and city staffers.
 From Gazsi (left) to Neth (right)
Fifteen officers/civilian employees were sworn-in for their new jobs by Interim City Clerk Brenda Green, ranging from new Captain Rob Sharpnack to brand new electronics technician Ricardo Alvarado.
 Sharpneck Sworn-in
Retiring CMPD staffers Lieutenant Tim Schennum and Captain Allen Huggins were honored for their nearly 3 decades of service each.  Both men are looking forward to their retirement.
Schenuum(left) and Huggins(right) with their respective wives and Chief Gazsi
In addition to Sharpnack, the promotion list also included new lieutenants Keith Davis, Paul Beckman and Greg Scott; new sergeants Doug Johnson and Scott Stafford and Records Shift Supervisor Lidian Estecoc.
 New Lieutenants Scott, Davis and Beckman
New Sergeants Stafford and Johnson
New police officers Curtis Hazell, Arnold Alegado , Ryan Novikoff and Jonathon Tripp were also part of this ceremony.
New officers Hazell, Alegado, Novikoff and Tripp
New Community Service Specialists Amanda Seers, Jessica Jung and Alec Tanchauco also received their badges.
CSI's Sheer, Jung and Tanchauco with Records Supervisor Estecoc (front)
The ceremony was a true family affair, with wives, children, parents, siblings and significant others filling the auditorium to see their loved-ones swear to protect and defend us.  The cornerstone of each ceremony was the pinning of the badge on the chest of each individual.  We saw wives pinning husbands, fathers pinning sons, mothers pinning daughters, brother pinning brother, son pinning father, boyfriend pinning girlfriend and Chief Gazsi pinning one individual, too.  I had to chuckle because, after new Sergeant Doug Johnson was pinned by his wife, Monique Beckner - also a member of the CMPD -  she gave him a smooch, then walked back to her seat with just the slightest hint of a blush on her cheeks.  I told her later that I can't remember the last time I saw a cop blush.  I also asked her if she was now required to salute her husband since he outranked her.  The answer was, "He's a sergeant at work, but I'm the commander at home."  Perfect!
Lt. Keith Davis and family
There were many, many highlights for me this morning, one of which was the inclusion of former chief Roger Neth in the ceremony.  He spoke briefly about being the very first officer hired by first chief Art McKenzie, and what it has meant to him to watch this organization grow.  He shook the  hand of every awardee before he stepped aside.
Former Chief Roger Neth
At the end of the ceremony a very moving slide show about recently-deceased Detective Mike Delgadillo was shown to the audience.  Chief Gazsi spoke passionately about Mike's 32 years of service and the huge hole his death leaves in the organization.  There were only a few dry eyes in the auditorium following that remembrance.  Services for Mike Delgadillo will be held tomorrow, Friday, March 15th at 11:00 at the Saint Thomas More Catholic Parish, 51 Marketplace, Irvine.

With the exception of Mayor Jim Righeimer telling the crowd that he was a member of a law enforcement family and that "this council supports the police 100%", it was a very good morning.  The mayor should be reminded that actions speak louder than words, and that talk is cheap but excellence in law enforcement is not.

Thanks to all those brave young people who step up and protect and serve us every day.  I left the proceedings feeling a great sense of pride in the CMPD, and knowing that we are in good hands.

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Anonymous Great Job said...

Geoff--Thanks for the great report and all you do to keep this blog up and running.

It's great that you go out to the community events and City events like this and report on it. The local paper will have small blurb about it and the City will send out a blanket statement about it, but you go and take pictures and put us, those that can't be there right there, and it's always nice to put a face to all the names.

Thanks again and congrats to all the officers at the CMPD.

3/14/2013 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Thank you, Geoff for the great writeup of this great event. Our CMPD is the best PD I've seen in all the places I've lived here and abroad.
Happy Retirement to our senior officers.
Condolences to Officer Delgadillo's family and friends.
He was an outstanding detective.
Congratulations to our new officers!
We are in good hands.

3/14/2013 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

It is nice that Geoff does that for us, isn't it? On the nights there are multiple events, its good to know that we will still get the information after all.

Did Riggy really say he supported the PD 100%? Why can't he figure out that there are just sometimes he'd serve himself better by keeping his mouth shut?

3/14/2013 08:46:00 PM  

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