CALEXICO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Calexico finally swears in a new police chief. Pompeyo Tabarez had to wait more than a month for this day to come.
His appointment was immediately met with controversy and stalled opposition despite council members voting him in on a 3-2 vote.
Pompeyo Tabarez tells 13 On Your Side - he has waited 36 years for this day to come - to be sworn in as Calexico's Chief of Police.
The small city that borders Mexicali is where Tabarez started his law enforcement career.
He says, despite controversy within the city council, he is thrilled to be in office and looks forward to serving and protecting the community.
As you may recall - Tabarez was appointed Chief of Police on May 21.
After waiting for more than a month for the results of a background check, among other pre-employment requirements to be completed, Tabarez finally got the word to come into city hall to be sworn in as a police chief.
"I Met with the city manager and his staff, to sign official documents and was sworn in by the clerk," says Tabarez.
According to city officials, Tabarez's swearing in took place behind closed doors because of the legal hiring process - where city officials have to carefully go over every detail within his contract.
Officials say, a public ceremony will be held in the next few weeks.
Tabarez says he is not deterred by the controversy surrounding his appointment.
We asked him if he feels qualified to take on the job - as Calexico's top police officer.
"Well, controversy is always part of the process. In Calexico just like every city in the Valley, or the state for that matter. It's a demanding government and they have to be controversial, they have to scrutinize the business they conduct to include the employment if individuals."
"I'm going to show the people that we can do they work and upgrade my qualifications so we can make everybody happy."
"I want to work for the people, I want to do what's best for the people and want to do a better job than anyone else could. I want to do more and better for Calexico."
"I wish I was there right now. I'm ready to go, I'm ready to work. Just can't wait for the night to be over so I can be there first thing in the morning."
Tabarez says he looks forward to getting residents more involved in community policing, giving the department more exposure and showing great leadership.
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