CALIFORNIA CITY – A Los Angeles native with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience was officially sworn in as chief of the California City Police Department during the Jan. 14 City Council meeting. Retired Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jon Walker replaces former Chief Eric Hurtado who retired in October.
“I’m really excited to be here,” said Walker. “I can’t wait to get started, in fact this is my second day. I’ve already met with my officers, many of them are here - you saw them. They’re a great bunch of guys, and they’re really hard workers and have been through some very difficult times. I’m hoping that I can help with that. I’ll bring them together because they’re great guys.”
Walker said he fulfilled a childhood dream in 1987 when he became an LAPD officer.
“I did that for almost three decades, in which I not only witnessed history but I was a participant,” he said. “I saw everything from visiting presidents to Pope’s, to civil unrest celebrations, to big trials, to Hollywood big wigs that you can even possibly think of. I learned a lot in that time, I learned a lot about police work, I learned a lot about different facets of police work.”
Walker said he learned police departments are constantly trying to involve get better, whether it’s in the form of new technology or policy and procedures.
“But what I also learned was about people,” he said. “The thing about people is, they don’t change. They want to live in a safe place. They want to lay their head on their pillow at night, and not have to worry that someone’s gonna come into their house and take the property or make them victims. They want to drive up and down safe streets. They want safe places for their kids to go to school. They want safe parks for their kids to go to. That want, whether you’re from a big city, or a small city is inherent in all of us.”
Walker said his goal as chief was to get officers the best training and technology possible and to build the ranks of the department.
“Professionally, and with compassion, and also while doing that we’re going to do that with integrity,” he said. “We’re going to be completely transparent. My plan as chief to make California City a safer place to live, and a safer place to work.”
A number of Walker’s friends and family showed up to support him in his new role and current members of CCPD and members of the public were on hand to welcome him to the community.