I write this letter to the citizens of Modesto with a heart full of gratitude, appreciation and warm memories.
It is impossible for me to adequately express how grateful I am to have served as your police chief for the past nine years, so I will simply express my deepest and most sincere thank you for all we have experienced together.
When I embarked on the adventure of moving my bride and three of our children to Modesto, I had no idea how much I would come to love serving and working with all of you. You have blessed my family and my life. You will always hold a special place in my heart.
Working with the California Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, I have had the opportunity to see many communities and police departments across our state and nation. I can say with intimate knowledge that the City of Modesto is a wonderful community and a great place to live and raise a family. I can further say that the men and women of the Modesto Police Department are second to none in serving and caring for their community. And, they will continue this tradition of exceptional service because it is their very nature.
This is a community of over 200,000 people and is large by any measurement standard. Despite its size, Modesto has retained the closeness of a much smaller city.
This is most clearly reflected in the way our community comes together every year to celebrate National Night Out Against Crime. Modesto is consistently first in California and first or second in the nation. This happens because our neighborhoods care and are willing to be involved. I am grateful to The Bee for its partnerships in promoting community safety by increasing community involvement and awareness of problems and concerns. Their sponsorship and support of efforts like National Night Out and Crime Stoppers has been instrumental in making our lives and community safer.
There is much work still to be done, but I know that the citizens of Modesto will continue to work with their police department to overcome every challenge. I leave office with great pride in the men and women of the MPD and the community of Modesto. Acting Chief Mike Harden is well prepared and ready to lead our department and community in these difficult times to new and greater accomplishments. He has my endorsement and full support and I urge you to support him as you have supported me.
It has been my honor to serve as your chief.
Wasden, who has been Modesto's chief of police since 2000, is the new city manager in Turlock.