Livermore has a new police chief. Law enforcement veteran and Modesto native Michael Harris, 45, will be officially sworn in as chief at a ceremony this afternoon. Harris was chosen from a pool of nearly 40 candidates over a three-month application period, according to city officials. He succeeds interim chief Randy Sonnenberg, who temporarily took over after former Chief Steve Sweeney retired earlier this year.
Harris said he has gotten to know the community through repeated visits to Livermore from Modesto. “I made a lot of trips over here and I really fell in love with the community,” he said. Harris, who is married with five children, also said Livermore is the ideal place to raise his young family. The move comes after more than 23 years with the Modesto Police Department, where he rose through the ranks from police officer to captain, most recently serving as the Operations Division commander.
After his swearing-in, Harris will spend much of the next few weeks meeting with city leaders, new colleagues and community members in the city he and his family now call home. He also plans to continue his longtime commitment to community policing. “I believe in using citizens as a force multiplier and using eyes and ears,” Harris said. “We can keep little problems from getting big when we have good relationships.” The new chief will be sworn in at the Robert Livermore Community Center, located at 4444 East Ave., at 3:30 p.m.
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