SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Police Department is promoting six of their own to the position of sergeant.
"It's an exciting time in my career and an exciting time for a lot of officers in the same situation as I am," says Officer Mark Streker, one of the officers being promoted.
Streker has been with the department for 15 years. On March 9th, he and 2 others will be promoted to sergeant. Three more promotions will happen in the coming months. It marks the beginning of some big changes for the department that has seen new leadership with Police Chief Ralph Martin taking over late last year. The promotions were also feasible given Martin's announcement in December of last year that the department will be adding 20 new police officers in the next year.
"A lot of other police agencies are cutting back, but we're in a position, the city of Santa Maria is in a good position to where we can hire right now," said Martin back in December.
All the changes that SMPD has seen as well as the ones they are going through right now, go along the lines of fixing the image of a department that saw several officer involved shootings last year.
"It's a new era not only for me, but for the police department in general," says Streker.
Streker says the morale of the department has dramatically improved since last year. With new faces being added to the department this year, as well as the anticipated move into the new police building off of Blosser and Betteravia, things are looking up.
"There's a big, big difference in our police department today," says Streker. "We have a lot of exciting changes coming up."
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:14 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:14:07 GMT
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