"If you are not safe, no one else is, " said Chief Mills. Police safety is one of our highest priorities. He talked about "treating people well, both externally and internally."
Chief Mills said he was proud to wear the blue uniform. He told the honorees "each and every one of you has earned your promotion.
Family members pinned badges on those being promoted.
Both Captain Stephen Watson and Captain Brian Stephens were in attendance. Chief Woods, Eureka Council members Melinda Ciarabellini and Kim Bergel as well as Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass and her husband Matthew Owen attended the ceremony.
The Eureka Police Department held a Promotional Ceremony today from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Adorni Center in Eureka. The public and media were invited to attend.
I spoke briefly with Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills before the ceremony. EPD still has employees and officers working during the ceremony.
For me today, the ceremony has personal significance. New hire Officer Ben Altic is someone I have known years including his entire family, especially his father former EPD Officer Louis Altic. It was also great to see Sgt. Shawn Sopoaga, who is one of the few EPD officers I have known since I moved here.
The seven employees who were announced and promoted in September were sworn in for their new assignments. The ten new hires who joined the Department ranks since the last ceremony in November, 201 were also recognized.
A few special awards were handed out at the end of the ceremony.
Sgt. Rodrigo Sanchez was given the medal of valor for his actions in March 2010 that saved Officer Patrick Bishop's and a citizen's life. Officer Patrick Bishop was also honored.
September 25 press release:
Stanley Harkness was promoted to Patrol Sergeant. Sergeant Harkness has been with EPD for about 9.5 years. He has worked several positions within the department, most recently as a Field Training Officer and Drug Task Force Officer.
Shawn Sopoaga was promoted to Patrol Sergeant. Sergeant Sopoaga started his career with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and has been with EPD for four years. He is on the SWAT team and prior to his promotion, was assigned to the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit.
John Gordon was promoted to Senior Detective. Detective Gordon has worked for EPD for 9 years. He has been in the Criminal Investigations Section for the last two years and enjoys using technology to solve his cases.
Jon Luken was promoted to Senior Detective. Detective Luken has been with EPD for 7.5 years. He achieved his goal of being a detective just four years into his career and enjoys the challenge of solving a complicated case.
Brittany Wilson was promoted to Senior Dispatcher. Brittany has been with EPD for just under 10 years. She is a Communications Training Officer. This past year she received commendations for her job performance and tireless efforts assisting officers and citizens in need.
Katie Hill was promoted to Senior Dispatcher. Katie has been with EPD for 5.5 years. She is a Communications Training Officer and was recently awarded Dispatcher of the Year.