Merced added a new officer on Friday, the same time it said goodbye to a veteran detective.
Merced Police Chief Norman Andrade conducted the ceremony to make Michael Neal Merced’s newest officer.
The 35-year-old comes to Merced after more than 2 years in the Los Banos Police Department, according to city staffers. Los Banos Chief Gary Brizzee attended the ceremony.
Neal was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for efforts in reducing DUI crimes and received the MADD Award in 2015 and 2016, according to city staffers.
He brings the department up to 90 sworn officers with funding for 98. The pay for police officers is $5,042 to $6,129 a month, according to city staffers.
While welcoming Neal, the department parted with Detective Joe Deliman, who earlier in the day was sworn in at the Merced County District Attorney’s Office, he said.
Deliman worked in the Merced Police Department since February 1997, according to city staffers. Before becoming a detective, he worked as a patrol officer, gang and street crimes officer, an instructor and member of the Crime Scene Response Team, city staffers said.