DOWNEY – Former police captain Dean Milligan was officially sworn in as Downey’s 11th police chief in front of a crowded City Hall chamber Wednesday morning.
Milligan has served as part of Downey’s Police Department since 1994, working several assignments and moving up the ranks before being promoted to captain in December of 2012. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Laverne and a Master’s Degree in Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego.
He now takes over for Chief Carl Charles, whose retirement became effective Wednesday.
Charles said that he “couldn’t have asked for a more hard-working, conscientious, and loyal second-in-command.”
“For the past six years, Dean played a critical role in implementing a host of community-based programs and services,” said Charles. “Through it all, Dean has been a confidant, an advisor, and a true friend. It is my supreme confidence in his ability that led me to choose this point in time to retire.
“I am absolutely certain that Dean is the right person to lead this department into the future with an ever-changing law enforcement landscape.”
Milligan was sworn in by former Downey Police Chief Greg Caldwell. His wife, Theresa, held a bible as he took his oath.
After taking his oath, Milligan addressed the audience.
“With this chief’s office comes tremendous responsibilities. It is a great honor that I am humbled by and I do not take it lightly,” said Milligan.
“I offer you my commitment. We will be tough on crime and diligent in providing for your safety while being responsive to your concerns. We will always strive to be respectful while being an open, accountable, and transparent agency.”
Milligan also asked for the cooperation of the community.
“We need your leadership as well as your understanding with regard to what we can and cannot do. While we will always be your first line of defense, we unfortunately are not the answer to every problem.”
“It is my hope that in the event of a critical incident, you will be willing to suspend judgement until all the facts are in. Safe neighborhoods are the results of residents and their police department working together to create them…please know that the Downey Police Department is committed to working with you to make this community a safe and secure place to live and that we will continuously strive to maintain your trust”
Milligan’s speech included a wide range of thanks – directed to everyone from City Council and staff to friends, loved ones and his family – as well as a few direct words to the police department staff and officers that he now will lead.
“You should feel very proud of the job you do each day. It’s my hope that when you end your shift and head for the safety of your home you will truly believe that what you did today mattered,” said Milligan. “I commit myself to ensure that you are properly equipped and supervised, as well as being supported entirely.
“Serving as a police officer today means facing adversity and overcoming increasing challenges. We ask more of our officers on the street today than any time in history.
“Policing is about much more than simply investigating crime and arresting those who do harm; it’s providing council to families in distress, it’s getting someone suffering from mental illness help, working out civil disputes between neighbors, and working with our youth in various programs…
“I know that you all don your respective uniforms every day because you’ve chosen to help people and give back to the community that we serve.”