After seven years, the torch passed from one chief to the next when the Tehachapi City Council named its new chief of police.
Kent Kroeger, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, was tapped to Tehachapi's new top cop at the Monday, June 16 council meeting.
Kroeger will replace Jeff Kermode, who retires this month after serving seven years at the helm a fresh police office.
"I'm encouraged and excited to be working with a mayor and city council that emphasizes public safety and fully supports their police agency," Kroeger said. "I think we can do great things together and really improve the quality of life in the city of Tehachapi."
Kroeger has spent the past 26 years with the LA County Sheriff's Department, but has resided in Tehachapi with his wife and family since 2000.
Kroeger said that his experience as a LA County Sheriff's lieutenant will help in Tehachapi.
"I have a lot of experience with crime reduction, different policing strategies and working with the community, and developing relationships with the community,"
Kroeger said. "I like working on crime prevention and taking a community approach to reducing crime."
Kermode, the retiring chief, said he thinks Kroeger will be great for the city.
"I had a chance to talk with him a couple of times before the interviews, and I think he understands this community," Kermode said. "I think are definitely on the same
page (for community policing) and I think he's got excellent experience combined with living here, so that's a real great mix."
Tehachapi Mayor Phil Smith said the city is thrilled to have a new chief to replace Kermode.
"Chief Kermode set the example," Smith said. "He built the new police force from scratch and he really set the standards really high for our police force."
Smith said that Kroeger is a very welcome addition to the city.
"He has a big job to do and some very big shoes to fill, and we're just thrilled he's been a member of our community all of these years," Smith said.
While Kroeger will go forward in a new position, Smith is confident the new chief will bring a lot to the table.
"He will bring a different viewpoint," Smith said. "He comes from a very late organization with a lot of personnel and I think whatever he brings from there and
fits in to our small force is great. He's very eager to make that happen.