Celebration and sadness

A Thursday morning ceremony captured the Costa Mesa Police Department's recent highs and lows.

Family members joined police at the front of Council Chambers for a ceremony recognizing several promotions and two retirements. And there was also a more somber moment — a slide show set to music honoring 32-year department veteran Mike Delgadillo, who died after an off-duty car crash.

In honor of those retiring, Police Chief Tom Gazsi presented the wives of Capt. Allen Huggins and Lt. Tim Schennum with flowers, thanking them for supporting the men during their nearly 30 years of service.

"I couldn't be more proud to serve the city of Costa Mesa," Huggins said.

Capt. Rob Sharpnack, who was promoted from lieutenant, received his new badge from his wife, Stephanie, and thanked his colleagues.

"Today I want to point out that my success is a reflection of the heart of the men and women of this department," he said.

Also promoted were Lts. Paul Beckman, Keith Davis and Greg Scott, and Sgts. Doug Johnson and Scott Stafford.

Records supervisor Lidian Estecoc and community service specialists Amanda Seers, Jessica Jung and Alec Tanchauco received new titles.

Members of the department lined up at the front of the room as Roger Neth, one of the city's first police officers, shook their hands.

At the end of the ceremony, the slide show honoring Delgadillo showed images of him at his desk, with a police dog and sporting an ear-to-ear grin as Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" played.

Gazsi said those who worked to save Delgadillo after the March 5 single-car crash exemplified "some of the best police work I've ever seen."

"They did the very best they could to save Mike, and it was nothing short of heroic," Gazsi said.

Mayor Jim Righeimer said he feels for the police.

"You lost a brother, and I want you to know this council reaches out from the bottom of our hearts," he said. "Thirty-two years leaves a mark."


Twitter: @lawilliams30

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World