The City of South Pasadena swore in Joe Ortiz as its new police chief during a public ceremony held in the City Council chambers Monday, Apr. 29. Ortiz will be replacing former South Pasadena Police Department (SPPD) chief Art Miller, who left the force in August 2018.
Ortiz delivered a brief message to attending citizens prior to his swearing in. The new arrival, who has been on the job since Apr. 1, expressed his gratefulness to the community for its warm reception of him as chief and indicated his eagerness to begin work with his fellow SPPD officers.
“Every day we look for a better way to do what we do,” Ortiz said, “It is that exact attitude that will move [us] to provide a higher level of service and better serve our community.”
City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe and Mayor Marina Khubesrian each offered their own words to congratulate and welcome Ortiz to SPPD and the South Pasadena community. DeWolfe also informed the audience of the thorough process that eventually led to Ortiz’s selection as Chief.
City officials began searching for a new police chief in November 2018, eventually selecting Ortiz and six other candidates for interviews in December. This narrowed down the list to four finalists whom DeWolfe interviewed personally. During the selection process, South Pas citizens were able to voice their expectations for the new chief at community forums and submitted documents with their requests to city council for review. Ortiz has since collected these papers and framed them in his office.
“I am confident that he is the right man for the job,” DeWolfe said, “I think you will all agree as you get to know him a little bit better and see him on the job.”
Ortiz brings 26 years of law enforcement experience to his new position, having acted as sergeant, captain, and police chief of the Sierra Madre Police Department for nine years before his arrival in South Pas. He also served in the United States Air Force and National Guard.
“This is an extremely exciting time for me both personally and professionally,” Ortiz said, “I am truly honored and privileged and humbled to be appointed as the fourteenth chief of the South Pasadena Police Department.”