Police Chief Michael Salvador has unveiled a new look for the city’s department. Complete with a new shield and logo on all the officers’ uniforms, the change is part of a multi-faceted effort that aims to rebrand the force as a whole.
During a special ceremony at Monday night’s Atwater City Council meeting, every member of the department stood together in formation, from rookies to veterans, as they received the new badges. Police chiefs from Atwater’s past — Retired Chief Richard Hawthorne and Jerry Moore — made their way into the council chambers to observe the ceremony, while the Merced County Sheriff’s Office took over the dispatch room and patrols on the streets of Atwater.
Following a pinning ceremony, Chief Salvador spoke with The Times and noted that as the police department continues to build from its past and look to the future, there are additional plans in store. As part of the Atwater Police Department’s transformation, sergeants with the department have begun undertaking additional professional development, with the most recent example being Sergeant Dayton Snyder who completed a rigorous 8-month training process with the California POST Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.
The program is designed to give police sergeants additional leadership skills, stimulate personal growth, and grow their knowledge in ethical decision-making as a front-line supervisors. Sergeant Snyder was one of the few selected law enforcement professionals throughout the state of California to be accepted into the program, and one of only 20 to graduate from the program.
Additionally, Chief Salvador noted that they have their next applicant for the California POST Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute lined up before noting that there are larger plans in store as well. Following the Atwater Police Department’s sergeants completing the Leadership Institute, Salvador noted that he plans to than make a push for additional training in the areas of supervisory performance and evaluation.
“At that point, I want to let the lessons from these trainings marinate inside of the department,” said Chief Salvador. “After a year, I want to then start placing applicants into the Los Angeles Police Department Leadership Program.” Formerly known as the Westpoint Leadership Program, the LAPD’s Leadership program mirrors the law enforcement material taught at the prestigious West Point Academy from which its original name was derived.
Chief Salvador went on to note that with these steps in mind for the future, actions such as the day’srebranding and badge pinning ceremony are all the more important. In addition to bringing the department together and forming a cohesive unit, by coupling the new branding, camaraderie, and training together, the steps help ensure that Atwater’s Police Department remains on the right track.