With a standing room only crowd – and many people spilling out into the lobby – the chairs were filled and the Escalon community welcomed its new Police Chief to town on Monday.
A swearing in ceremony and badge pinning saw Mike Borges take over the top cop spot in the city, coming to Escalon after a lengthy career with the Ceres Police Department, serving as Deputy Chief there since 2007.
Outgoing interim Police Chief Mike Harden greeted the overflow crowd with a smile and offered praise for the department he has overseen for just a couple of months, noting that the officers are well trained and extremely capable.
“As a uniformed officer, you handle it all,” he said of the department. “We’re small, but we’re mighty.”
He also said Escalon used to be a place he “passed by” while working as the Modesto Police Chief, but he quickly grew to enjoy the small town atmosphere.
“It’s a hidden gem,” he said.
Harden noted the large turnout for the swearing in ceremony spoke volumes about Borges and the respect he has in the law enforcement community. Representatives from several different agencies around the Central Valley were in attendance, along with some retired law enforcement personnel, including former Escalon Police Chief Walt Murken. All members of the Escalon City Council were also in attendance to greet the new chief. Following Harden’s remarks, acting City Manager Tammy Alcantor administered the oath of office and Borges had his new Escalon Police Chief badge pinned on by his mother, Aileen, while his wife Susan looked on. Borges then took the podium for a few words.
“I’m looking forward to serving this community,” he said, noting that Escalon has given him the opportunity to realize his dream of being a police chief.
He also pointed to the support of his wife and family, indicating that they have been an instrumental part of his successful 33-year career in law enforcement. Among those in attendance were Borges’ children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and more.
“I am looking forward to being here for many years to come,” he added.
Mayor Ed Alves also took the podium and offered his thanks to Harden for stepping in to the interim role, as well as welcoming Borges to the team.
“He came on board when we needed help and he is a class act,” Alves said of Harden. “Now we have the equivalent, welcome aboard.”
Borges, who officially took over the job as of Monday, July 14, was in town with his wife over the weekend, taking in the Park Fete celebration and getting an informal introduction to the community.
Monday’s swearing in ceremony and reception was the official introduction, and Borges will now settle in to overseeing the daily operations of the department.