Just a few weeks ago, new Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro was wearing a different badge and uniform.
But he has since shed his police chief garb and duties at the Glendora Police Department, and is now officially Glendale’s police chief.
“The city of Glendale deserves the best and I will promise every day to give you that,” Castro said Thursday at the Police Department headquarters. “I can tell you each and every day I will work hard to earn the right to wear this badge for you.”
In a packed room that was standing room only, Castro was sworn in as the city’s police chief as friends, family, fellow police officers and city officials looked on. His wife of 23 years, Cynthia, pinned his official police badge on his uniform
Castro, 48, started as the Police Department’s top cop on Monday, replacing retired Police Chief Ron De Pompa.
Just in the last week, he said he has met “nothing but outstanding professional in the law enforcement community.”
When considering a move to Glendale, Castro asked himself whether the new job would be the right fit for him and the Police Department.
“In this particular time, in our world’s history and what’s going on in the sector of public safety and many challenges we face today and throughout my process, I kept looking for some type of a sign to say ‘This is not right for me and I was not right for the community of Glendale,’” he said.
But Castro said he didn’t find any signs. Rather, he found “just the opposite.”
Glendale, he added, is a place with continual opportunities to leave a mark. Castro hopes to improve and provide a “stepping point to lead” the Police Department and community into the future.
“I truly believe for a law enforcement leader, it’s not what we do when we are here,” Castro said. “It’s what will occur after we leave — how we position our organization and our personnel.”
While Castro has said he won’t immediately call for any new changes in the department, he planned to meet with staff and community groups to find out their needs and concerns.
Mayor Dave Weaver said Castro was “put through the wringer” before he was approved in a 5-to-0 vote by City Council to be the new police chief.
“I am looking forward to see how you deal with a much bigger community,” Weaver said to Castro.
City Manager Scott Ochoa described Castro as a longtime police officer who rose through the ranks to Glendora’s top leadership positions.
“Ethical leadership, servant leadership is the hallmark of this community and this organization,” Ochoa told Castro. “It’s what makes us great. It’s what sets us apart from everyone else. We expect the best and we have every confidence that you will fulfill that profile completely.”