On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the San Bernardino Police Department held its Promotional and Welcome Aboard Ceremony at the Sturges Center for the Arts. 14 new police officers were issued new police badges, many of who had their family members or friends pin them onto their uniforms during the event. In addition, promotions included nine officers to the rank of Detective, eight to Sergeant, two to Lieutenant, and 2 to Captain.
Several civilian personnel were also promoted including one Forensic Specialist, two Dispatchers, and Two Community Service Officers.
Lieutenant Richard Lawhead was one of the two promoted to Captain, and his father Les Lawhead stood next to him and pinned his new badge on his uniform. Lieutenant David Green was also promoted to Captain and his father, too, pinned his uniform.
Newly promoted Sergeant Von Verbanic shared a special moment with his mother-in-law Barbara Saldana who was invited to pin his new badge on his uniform – it was a very emotional moment for Barbara as she shed tears of joy because this was a surprise to her.
Recently hired Forensic Specialist Daniella Valdez is in the process of beginning a new career as a Forensic Specialist/Crime Scene Investigator with the department. Daniella had her mother Claudia Bravelton pin her badge on her uniform.
After the official pinning of the badges, the entire group was sworn into their new positions by Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. Although, many of the officers may have been working in their new positions months earlier, the Promotional and Welcome Aboard Ceremony only occurs once a year.
This event was one of the largest Promotional and Welcome Aboard Ceremonies held in many years. Several city dignitaries attended the ceremony including Mayor Carey Davis, Councilpersons Virginia Marquez, John Valdivia, and Benito Barrios.
After the ceremony, those promoted and their family members gathered outside the Sturges Center to congratulate each other on their new positions. In one instance, a prayer circle of family members and friends assembled around newly promoted Sergeant John Echevarria; giving thanks to God and speaking words of encouragement for the future.
The promotional ceremony and the pinning of the badges were made into a family affair several years ago. This allowed family members to not only witness the ceremony, but to take an active part in it as well.