Christopher Goodwin has been named interim police chief of the Merced Police Department, replacing Norman Andrade who retired at the end of 2017. Goodwin, a 21-year veteran of the Department, has been serving as a captain. “Chris will be a good transition for the Department as we go from one Chief to the next,” said City Manager Steve Carrigan. “He knows the operation thoroughly, he knows the men and women on the team, and he can provide the high-caliber of leadership needed while we go through the search process.”
Goodwin was hired as a patrol office and worked his way up as a sergeant, then lieutenant before his promotion to captain. Along the way, he has worked in the Street Crime Unit, as a Field Training Officer and as a Detective. Goodwin served in the Gang Violence Suppression Unit, in the Defensive Tactics Unit and on the SWAT team. He helped start the Department’s Active Shooter Program in 2001.
Carrigan said the City has already begun the process to hire a new police chief. An executive search firm will be hired to assist in finding a police chief. Recruitment materials will be sent out with the focus on the Western United States After the 30-day recruitment period has closed, Carrigan said the best candidates will be selected for the interview process. The City Manager said he will take community and professional input on the candidates before he makes his final selection.
“We want the best chief for Merced, whoever he or she will be,” Carrigan said. “That person will recognize that our community is changing, that we are growing, that we are transforming, but that we have lots of traditional Valley values that we still cherish. We want a police chief who can lead our officers into the next decade and have the community join with them. It’s a big job, it’s a challenging job, but the people of Merced deserve this in their police chief.”
The position of police chief pays up to $157,372 a year.