Special ceremony for retiring CVPD chief - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Special ceremony for retiring CVPD chief

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - After 35 years in law enforcement, Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano is retiring and he says this time, he really means it.

But Chief Bejarano understands why everyone keeps asking him where he'll be working next. He started his career in 1979 as a rookie officer with the San Diego police Department. Then, became chief in 1999 and retired from there in 2003, but he didn't stay out of law enforcement long. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as the US Marshal for the Southern District of California. Two years later, he retired again and then in 2009 his dream job opened up and he took it, becoming Chula Vista's 23rd police chief.  

“When I was a young police officer in San Diego, my career goal was to be a lieutenant in the homicide unit,” Chief Bejarano said.

But San Diego's current police chief, who worked with Bejarano for decades, knew he was destined for greatness.

“His integrity, his honesty, his empathy, compassion and I'll tell you things could be swirling all around him and he's just so calm, so capable all the time,” said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
Chief Bejarano says the toughest days on the job were those when officers were lost and the cases that affected him the most, included the murders of Jonathan Sellers and Charlie Keever and Danielle Van Dam. The best days, he said, were his co-worker's successes. 
“You're confident, there's no doubt you knew what you were doing for all that experience and you know what it means to be a leader and you're humble,” said Eric Birnbaum, the head of the San Diego FBI office. “Your head stays small and you enjoy success of the people who work for you.”

Bejarano ended his shift Thursday with a walk out ceremony, giving him an opportunity to say one final goodbye as Chula Vista's police chief.

So what's next for the retired chief?  He says he'll do a little police consulting, but he's also looking forward to spending more time with his family, traveling and playing some golf.

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