A longtime City of Escalon employee – starting initially with Public Works and later moving into the Police Department – Robert ‘Rob’ Lackey has been named the city’s new Chief of Police.
“Last Thursday night (June 4), the City Council and I conducted interviews for the Chief of Police. On Friday morning, I offered the position to Sgt. Robert Lackey, who accepted,” explained City Manager Tammy Alcantor.
Lackey’s appointment is effective July 1, 2020.
Current Chief Mike Borges had earlier submitted his retirement resignation but had agreed to stay on longer if the city was unable to conduct the necessary interviews and background checks as a result of the COVID-19 orders. However, the two finalists for the position were both already within the department, allowing for the process to continue.
“He has been a sergeant for the past two-and-a-half to three years,” Borges said of his successor.
Lackey has been with the city itself since 1999, first with Public Works. He has been with the police department for more than a dozen years.
“He was a reserve officer prior to him going fulltime,” Borges added.
As far as Lackey taking over the top spot in the department, the outgoing chief said he feels is it was a good decision. He was able to sit in on some of the interview process with both final candidates.
“They were asked some very comprehensive questions that dealt with their communication skills, their focus on community policing,” said Borges. “Both candidates indicated they wanted to keep the progress they have seen in the organization moving forward.”
Lackey was not immediately available for comment, as he was on his scheduled days off when Alcantor announced the selection; look for a feature story with the new chief in an upcoming issue of The Times.
“I felt privileged and honored that both (finalists) made reference to their working with me and my being a mentor,” Borges explained. “I was humbled, listening to their comments.”
A whole new set of responsibilities will open up for Lackey, the chief pointed out, including budgeting, personnel issues, supervisory duties and more.
“Sergeants here have been given a lot more responsibility over the years but there will be a learning curve for him,” Borges said. “I have agreed to stay on and assist with the transition; I will be an available resource to him.”
And as Borges prepares for his final couple of weeks in the chief’s role for the local department, he said being a consultant for a little while will make the leaving easier.
“My desire is to see the organization serve the community as it has been,” he said. “I’ve come to love this community.”