A man who came out of retirement to serve as a captain with the Lompoc Police Department has been appointed to serve as the city’s new chief of police.
Joseph Mariani will take over for current Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh on March 1, the City announced Wednesday.
The move comes after Walsh announced in January he would be resigning from the department.
Mariani will be Lompoc’s first Hispanic and bilingual police chief.
After 34 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, he came out of retirement in September 2015 to serve as a captain with Lompoc PD, first serving as an operations division commander before taking over as support services commander.
While with the LAPD, Mariani served as a patrol officer, narcotics officer, D.A.R.E officer, vice officer, internal affairs investigator, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He also managed the recruitment and hiring process for the department. “During his tenure, the police department attained an authorized strength of 10,000 officers for the first time in the department’s history,” according to the City of Lompoc.
“I was fortunate to serve under Chief Walsh, and to benefit from his leadership and compassion,” Mariani said in a press release. “Chief Walsh has made an enormous contribution to and difference in the City of Lompoc, and we are all much better because of his efforts… It is my hope and desire to continue to serve our community, and to work in collaboration with all who live, work and visit our great city.”
Walsh, who has served as chief since September 2014, plans to stay on in a leadership role until Friday when Mariani takes over, the City announced.
“I could not be happier that Joe Mariani is stepping into the police chief role,” Walsh said in a press release. “Joe is an exceptional leader, his experience and knowledge of law enforcement are vast, and he will serve the Lompoc Police Department well.”
Walsh has not announced what he plans to do next.
Mariani will be sworn in at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting.