New Merced police chief is sworn in, talks priorities
Merced’s police chief swore-in a half dozen new officers Wednesday, though several positions in the department remain unfilled.
The six new officers sworn in by new Police Chief Chris Goodwin bring the department to 89 sworn officers, according to a news release. The city has the budget for 98 officers.
The open spots include a captain, two sergeants and six police officers, according to city staffers. “We are fortunate to have had this many high quality officers sworn in all at once,” Goodwin said. “This is a result of our recruiting efforts and then the timing of the four trainees graduating from the academy at the same time.”
The department hired two other officers last Friday, according to Goodwin, and a trainee is set to graduate this week.
The new recruits include Tim Farmer, Dominic Saelee, Tevon Prevostini, David Benavidez, Shawn Kramer and Patrick Radke.
Farmer, 36, is a Merced High graduate who completed the veterinary technician program at Modesto Junior College. He graduated from Fresno Police Academy, where he was sponsored by the Merced Police Department, according to city staffers.
Originally from Visalia, 26-year-old Saelee graduated from Golden West High School and attended Fresno State before graduating from the Tulare-Kings County Police Academy.
Kramer, 32, is a Golden Valley High School and Fresno Police Academy graduate who was also sponsored by the Merced Police Department.
Prevostini, a 25-year-old Denair native, was sponsored through the Fresno Police Academy and by the department as well.
Benavidez is a 27-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Merced, who graduated the Fresno Police Academy while sponsored by Merced.
Radke comes to Merced after three years with the Atwater Police Department. The 31-year-old previously worked seven years with the Livingston Police Department.
Merced police officers make $62,169 to $75,566 a year, according to the salary schedule.