With the recent departure of Milt Medeiros to take the position of Police Chief in Gustine, the Escalon Police Department lost one of its sergeants.
Monday night, it gained a new one.
Longtime officer Robert Lackey was promoted to sergeant and had his badge pinned on him by fellow officer Gustavo Flores in a presentation before the Escalon City Council on Dec. 4.
“Officer Lackey has been with the police department 10 years and had five years prior service with the city in the Public Works Department,” Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges explained. “He has spent two and a half years as a Field Training Officer and has had the opportunity to train some of our new personnel.”
Borges pointed to Lackey’s strong communication skills as helping him in his position and said he was very proud to have promoted Lackey from within the ranks to assume his new role as a sergeant.
For his part, Lackey said he selected Sgt. Flores to pin his new badge on him because “he has been with me since Day One” in the department and has been a strong mentor.
Many members of Lackey’s family were in attendance at the council chambers on Monday night for the promotion ceremony.
“I appreciate the opportunity to further my career with the department,” Lackey said, adding that he would try his best not to let anyone in the city down.
In addition to naming Lackey as a new sergeant, that opened up a spot for a full-time officer and Chad Collins was introduced as the department’s new officer Monday night as well. He was sworn in as a reserve in January, 2016 and now will work for the department full-time.
“He worked his way through our FTO program and was cleared to work as a solo officer,” Borges explained.
He added that it was “very easy” to choose Collins for the full-time position, given his record of hard work and dedication to the department as a reserve officer.
“I look forward to a good career here,” Collins told the council and his chief. “Thank you for the opportunity.”
In another bit of reshuffling in the department, officers Steven Quilici and Carl Poortinga will be taking over as Field Training Officers. Poortinga joined the department in October 2014 and Quilici just a month later, in November 2104.
“They will help mold the future officers for this department,” Borges said.
Sgt. Flores oversees the FTOs and will continue in that role, while Detective Robert ‘Anthony’ Hardgraves is the department’s third field training officer.
Add to that the department putting its new drone – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – into service this week now that several members have been trained in its operation, and Borges said the outlook is promising.
“I’m happy with what we have going forward,” Borges told the council.