DOWNEY - After some kind words and a warm hug from Roy Campos, Rick Esteves took the stage, ready to become police chief.Before an audience of more than 100 people, former Capt. Rick Esteves was sworn in as Downey's ninth chief of police during a brief transition ceremony on Tuesday morning held in the City Council chambers. In front of a diverse crowd of family members, city residents, police officers, and city officials, Campos thanked the city for its support during his four-year term as police chief. "Their never-ending support is what makes us strong as a police agency," said Campos, who will now enter retirement after over 30 years in law enforcement. Judge Brian Gasdia led Esteves in the Oath of office, lauding the 48-year-old officer as an outstanding person of character. "This is a great man and a great day," said Gasdia. "I told him, "It's a person like you that makes a person like me want to live in this city." Shortly after the oath, Esteves' wife and two daughters joined him at the forefront of the council chambers, helping him pin on his new badge. "I have a joyous feeling in my heart," said Esteves. "I don't take this lightly." This week, Esteves was busy transitioning into his new role and office. "I'm getting settled in," he said. "This has been sometime coming - Chief Campos has been getting me up to speed." Despite his new position, Esteves promises no wide-sweeping changes in the department, but maintains that the police department will continue to improve. "I'm visiting each unit letting them know that I'm carrying Chief Campos' message," said Esteves. "My number one goal is to continue providing the best police services possible to protect our communities." Esteves made one of his first decisions several weeks ago, selecting Detective Carl Charles to assume his former position as captain of Field Operations. Before the transition ceremony came to an end, Esteves thanked his family and assured his officers that his position change wouldn't change him. "I'm the same 'ole Rick," said Esteves during the ceremony. "My door's always open."
********** Published: December 4, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 32