Steve Ward

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/13/2011 04:15:47 PM PDT

COLTON – Steve Ward was selected at permanent police chief Thursday, after six months with an “interim” in his title.

Ward, who will be sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, said he was “excited and humbled” by the chance to make everyone in the city feel safer and more respected.

“I don’t care about arrest numbers and tickets,” Ward said. “What I care about is when people go out in the neighborhoods and bars come off those windows, and we’re working together. It doesn’t matter your age, ethnicity, citizenship, anything – I want people to trust our police officers, and if we’re going to get respect we have to give it.”

Ward, a lifelong resident, has served with the Colton Police Department since 1986. He rose to second-in-command, and when Chief Bob Miller resigned in April, Ward was appointed to the postion.

Miller’s retirement came at the end of tough negotiations between the department and the city, which resulted in pay cuts and eight layoffs.

“(Ward) came in at probably the worst time possible, and he’s made the best he can with this Police Department,” said Councilman David Toro. “He’s done a great job with these guys to make them feel wanted and special and part of the team, and I assume that’s the reason morale’s not as low as it used to be.”

Instead, Toro said, police have been celebrated recently for their contributions.

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