The Galt Police Department highlighted recent staff changes at a June 16 ceremony, swearing in three new officers and promoting five others. The agency also recognized longtime officer Sgt. Craig Walton, who is retiring to head the Cal Expo police department.

Those getting sworn in were officers Amanda Juarez and Garrick Jurado, and community service officer Saul “Alex” Gutierrez. Moving up in the organization are Richard Small, who has taken on the new position of captain, Lts. John Rocha and Brian Azevedo, and Sgts. Roderick Fisher and Kyle Slater.

With Slater’s promotion, his K-9, Copper, will retire after four years of service.

The new hires and promotees took the oath of office and had family or friends pin their badges in front of the Galt police headquarters. Chief of Police Brian Kalinowski spoke to the attendees.

“I can’t be more proud to be your chief. I can’t be more proud to swear in the new members and the promotions that we had today,” Kalinowski said.

He then brought Walton to the stage. While the agency normally recognizes retiring officers at its awards banquet, Kalinowski said, Walton’s deep ties to community members and organizations made it important to “pause and take a moment to honor Craig early on his departure from the city of Galt, and recognize him for his efforts for what has almost been the last 30 years.”

Walton’s three-decade career with the Galt police began in October 1993 when he joined as a dispatcher and community service officer. In September 1997, he became a sworn police officer, and in May 2006, he was promoted to sergeant.

Walton serves as a motor officer and “has always had a passion for traffic,” Kalinowski said. The sergeant also coordinates the Community Emergency Response Team, CERT; has extensive knowledge of the Emergency Operations Plan; and leads the agency’s event planning.

“Craig’s been involved in and part of every decision that’s been made in this organization for the past nearly 30 years, and the foundation that’s been built and the good work that continues to occur in this organization is in part due to the efforts by Sergeant Walton, and so thank you very much for that,” Kalinowski said.

The chief presented Walton with two gifts from the department: a badge case and a cigar humidor, both constructed by officer Andrew Robison. The humidor bore an inscription thanking Walton for his service.

Kalinowski read from a letter Walton had written announcing his retirement, which became effective on Father’s Day, June 19.

“‘I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, the Galt Police Department and the city of Galt, for a great career. The Galt police family has been a huge part of my life for almost 29 years, and retiring from the Galt Police Department was not an easy decision. Make no mistake: The Galt Police Department will always be my law enforcement home and the place which made me an officer, a sergeant here at Galt’ and then ultimately the lieutenant and the chief he is now today at Cal Expo,” Kalinowski noted.

“‘I will miss the great staff of the police department every day. This is just the next step in my career, which the Galt Police Department has trained me for. I would like to remind all staff how important each of you are to this great organization. Each of you bring something special to the department, and I believe that I am leaving the department in good hands, and the Galt Police Department will continue to be the best police department around.’”