The East Palo Alto Police Department will beef up its patrols, traffic enforcement and criminal investigations with eight new officers, who were sworn in during an Oath of Office Ceremony on Wednesday night at Costano School.
The new officers include: Robert Weigand, Loren Wutzke, Jose Lua Orozco, Daniel Cancilla, Travis Draeger, Kevin McAlindon, Andrew Wong and Siu Green, .
The department is budgeted for 36 sworn members, according to a police department press release. Police Chief Albert Pardini, who took the reins in 2014, said he began filling vacancies last May.
"The new officers filled vacancies in the patrol division, and the department and community will benefit by having officers assigned to each of the four police beats in the city," he said in an email to the Weekly. "During training, the new officers will rotate around the city so they learn the city and have an understanding of problems that are unique to each beat.
"After training, they will rotate through all of the beats, eventually settling into an assigned beat. By then, they will have a general understanding of the entire city and they can focus on meeting the residents of their beat and working on community policing problems," he said.
After getting the first few officers hired, Pardini was able to fill vacancies in the criminal investigations division. The department now has staffed the four budgeted positions in that division, he said.
"Bringing these officers into our ranks has allowed me to assign officers to address traffic problems in the city. While the new officers are working the beats, incumbent officers have been working on traffic and other complaints," he said.
Pardini added that he plans to "continue working with the community to solve crime and resolve quality of life issues."