Published: 19 October 2011 09:06 PM

Steve Ward has been sworn in as Colton’s police chief, vowing to make the town safer for residents and less hospitable for criminals.

“What I’m looking for is that neighborhood bully,” Ward told the City Council on Tuesday night. “The neighborhood bully comes into our city, doesn’t care about our city, is renting, doing drugs and causing problems for the neighborhood.”

He said he will use a variety of tools, including code enforcement, to drive criminals out of town.

Ward, 47, who had been interim chief for six months, cited a recent example of the direction he expects the department to pursue.

Three months ago, he said, he was approached by seven residents of a Colton neighborhood complaining about a troublesome neighbor.

“They just asked for help,” he said, “any help we could give them.”

He said one 40-year resident said nothing during the meeting. Afterward, Ward said he asked if she was OK.

“She says, ‘I’m fine. My son came over and he put bars on all my windows, so I feel safe,’” the chief said.

“I want those bars to come off,” Ward said. “We are already starting it. I assigned detectives to the case about two weeks ago. We served a search warrant and … we found out there was child neglect, so we handled that through Child Protective Services. We’re getting the people evicted.

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