Hollister Police Chief David Westrick announced he is stepping down, effective at the end of the year, in an Oct. 31 post on his personal blog, “My Chief Thoughts.”
There was no press release, no city or police department Facebook post and no news item posted on the City of Hollister website. Westrick, who has been police chief since 2013, and a police officer since 1990, did it his way. He said his last day will be Dec. 30, after 16 years in Hollister.
In a Nov. 2 email to the Free Lance, Westrick said,
“I am retiring after 29 years of public service.”
He added, “I am quite proud of the work we’ve done.”
In “A Letter to Hollister,” the police chief wrote:
“My time as Chief of Police for the City of Hollister has come to a close. I have advised the City Manager my last day at Hollister Police Department in uniform will be around the week of December 30, 2019.”
Westrick wrote, “During my time as chief we have been lucky to of hired many officers and employees. We have promoted many as well. We have had some great years. I have been blessed with an outstanding staff in all bureaus.”
The chief closed his blog by saying, “I truly thank you all for your support, your encouragement and your friendship. I will have more words and more thanks in the coming days.”
He added: “As always, be nice to each other.”
“I’ll be seeking new adventures,” he wrote.
Here is the rest of his blog text:
“I began my career in 1990 in the State Center Peace Officers Academy in Fresno. We were a bunch of young, naive kids from all over the Central Valley. We learned the law, we learned defensive tactics and we learned about the human condition as it related to criminal justice. Some of us never got jobs in law enforcement, many of us did. A few of us are still working in our chosen careers.
“Early on I was sworn in at Los Banos Police Department. I worked there for about 10 years. It was a great department and a great community to work in. So many people were kind to me. So many friends gained from my experience in that community.
“Los Banos PD gave me opportunities to train new police officers, supervise them as a sergeant, be a detective, community engagement/community policing, grant writing, gang/street crimes investigations and many other opportunities. I cannot thank Los Banos PD/City of Los Banos, its employees and the community as a whole for the opportunity to serve. Thank you Chief St Marie, Chief Hughes and Commander Knapp. Special shout out to my original recruiter, Sgt Nathan Bettencourt.
“In 2000 I lateraled over to Redwood City Police Department. Again a great police department and community to work in. Many of my fellow employees at RCPD are still my friends today. This agency really taught me the true value of community policing, public service and really the concept of a full-service police department. Very proud of my time there and I always smile when I think about having 10-8c (breakfast) and Code 7(lunch/meal) with my shift mates. Those folks can eat.
“In 2003 I lateraled to Hollister Police Department. I was hired by interim Chief Larry Todd. Chief Todd talked (in my job offer meeting) about how the next Chief (Chief Miller) would probably not ever promote me or give me a special assignment because I had not finished my degree yet. “That stung a little if I am being honest. However, I used it as motivation and went back to college and got my degree. I was promoted to Patrol Sergeant a few years later. I was so blessed to have great patrol teams, we handled pretty much everything ourselves, rarely calling out detectives (which was a feat back then).
‘I was promoted to Captain by Chief Miller in 2009. I was assigned the budget and the administrative division. In 2011 Chief Miller informed us of his intent to retire in April of 2012. Then City Manager Clint Quilter named me Acting Chief of Police, a position I would share that year with my friend and colleague Captain Reynoso.
“I was sworn in as Chief of Police for the City of Hollister, July 2, 2013. The very first person to congratulate me was Captain Reynoso.
“Citizen volunteers helped me start Hollister Gives Back in 2013. We wrote over 30,000 Christmas cards to our deployed and injured military members through Hollister Gives Back. Hollister Gives Back later became Hollister Police Foundation, a charitable organization.
“Hollister Police Department was awarded with National and State of California Awards for Traffic Enforcement, Technology and was named National Police Department of the Year in 2014.
“We have been successful in obtaining traffic, school resource officer and equipment grants during my tenure. We have never been over budget. Crime has steadily dropped almost 30 percent, although overall activity and calls for service have increased by almost 50 percent.
“Our partnership with Hollister School District and San Benito High School have brought three more police officers to our region.
“San Benito County PAL / Hollister Recreation Jr Giants has served over 2,000 kids with free baseball during this time.
“We started working with the great organization SNIP last year through our animal shelter.
“Many other projects, programs and engagements over the years.
“I mention all these things because it has never been about the Chief, it’s always been about our staff and our collective accomplishments in the City of Hollister, our community partners and all of you out there that support us.
“I leave Hollister Police Department in the very capable hands of Captain Carlos Reynoso, Lt Eric Olson and Lt Dan Winn. Hollister PD has a tremendous staff of professionals. I have prayed for them daily and will continue too. Everyone contributes to the success of Hollister Police Department.
“Thank you to the Hollister City Council for an almost always unanimous support for our projects, ideas, staff and simple asks. It helps to have engaged leaders. and I appreciate the hard work.
‘I have been really blessed to work with some of the best executives in the business in the City of Hollister. I have had great partnerships with the county and courts.
“I have benefited from excellent regional partnerships with law enforcement agencies in the region. Amazing relationships with my fellow Chiefs in CalChiefs and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“I had great bosses in Clint Quilter and then later Bill Avera. Thank you Clint for believing in me. Thank you Bill for your unwavering support of me, our team and this city.
“I truly thank you all for your support, your encouragement and your friendship. I will have more words and more thanks in the coming days.
“As always, be nice to each other, I’ll be seeking new adventures because (as Frank Herbert wrote) ‘A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing you to grow. Without them, it sleeps- seldom to awaken. The sleeper must awaken.’ “
Follow his blog, at http://chiefwestrick.blogspot.com/