Galt Police Department on Oct. 28 swore in three new employees — two officers and a dispatcher — and recognized three other staff members who were recently promoted.

Chief of Police Brian Kalinowski administered the oath of office after his own swearing-in to mark his appointment as the permanent head of the police department.

In a speech, Kalinowski noted that, instead of bringing in a new chief from outside the community, the city was able to promote from within the department, a fact he called “a testament to the members of this organization.”

The ceremony was the second for the department since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and its first since the death following a car crash of Galt officer Harminder Grewal. Fellow officer Kapri Herrera, who was injured in the same crash, is still recovering and came to the swearing-in. Kalinowski thanked Herrera for attending.

“We will have challenges as we go forward in recovering from the loss of Harmind and not having Kapri for a period of time as she recovers,” Kalinowski said, predicting a “long road” ahead.

Joining the department were officers Ruben Patino and Kelly Dorricott and dispatcher Lorraine Usher. Evidence and property technician Linda Brown, lead dispatcher Laura Sotelo and administrative analyst Valerie Hileman retook their oaths of office and received bouquets to honor their promotions.

Dorricott told the Herald that, while she had initially been sworn in several weeks ago, the public ceremony “makes it that much more special.”

The Galt resident said she felt welcomed on the force and hoped one day to work with a K-9 unit.

“But the fact that this department has been so open and caring after what we’ve lost is much more than any specialty I could ask for,” Dorricott said.

By swearing in the new hires and publicly honoring the promotees, Kalinowski wanted to set a tone of appreciation for the efforts of police staff. In the past, the city clerk has led the oath of office for the department.

“It’s important for a leader to be able to recognize the employees for their accomplishments,” Kalinowski said after the ceremony.

Patino was excited to introduce himself as “Officer Patino,” having previously worked as a school custodian.

“I can finally say, ‘Now I’m going from cleaning restrooms and rooms to cleaning up the streets’”, Patino told the Herald.

Patino’s career goal is to continue his education and teach criminal justice. The new officer said his parents, who emigrated from Mexico, instilled him and his siblings with a sense of duty toward others.

“So everything they give us, we want to give back to the community,” Patino said.