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Sheriff rotating Chris Pehl out of Lathrop

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POSTED February 6, 2013 12:58 a.m.

LATHROP – Chris Pehl’s credentials speak for themselves.

Since coming to Lathrop Police Services in 2008 as the administrative lieutenant, Pehl has helped groom two police chiefs for the job they would be stepping into, furthered the community-oriented policing model and put a human face on a department that has grown to fully represent the community it protects.

But his time in Lathrop has come to an end.

On Monday it was announced at the Lathrop City Council meeting Pehl – a 23-year veteran of the San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department – would be rotating back to the general administrative pool after more than four years of helping carry the torch in a community he has grown to love.

The move will be another step up the career ladder  Sherriff Steve Moore hasn’t yet announced what position Pehl will be filling. It will be a bittersweet transition once it becomes official.

“You become personally involved with not only all of the law enforcement aspects of the community, but the other aspects of the community as well,” Pehl said. “I think that the community-oriented policing model that we’ve been promoting here in Lathrop for a long time is working, and I’m a very strong believer in that.

“This was a very challenging post for me but at the same time it was a very rewarding post for me. I take pride in every assignment that I’ve ever had, but in this case I care very deeply not only about my job but the community as well – it was the chance to show the personal side to law enforcement and I’m really going to miss this.”

Pehl was twice given a standing ovation by those in attendance, and members of the council that worked closely with him over his years in the community thanked him not only for his duty but also his friendship.

“He has showed the human side of the department, and even though he doesn’t live here he values this community,” Councilman Steve Dresser said. “You can see that.”

Dresser recounted an incident where Pehl was called away to investigate a murder in the community, and being able to read on his face when he returned how deeply it had shaken him – something that you don’t always find with battle-hardened police officers.

Police Chief Danielle Hohe said that Pehl has left an “indelible mark” on the community and she only hopes that the rest of the team will carry that forward.

“This has truly been one of the highlights of my 23-year career,” Pehl said. “I will take a piece of Lathrop with me everywhere I go. I’ll always be just a phone call away.”

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