CLEARLAKE – As city councilmembers, community members, law enforcement officials from around the lake and his family looked on, the new Clearlake Police chief was sworn in Monday morning.
Interim Police Chief Larry Todd administered the oath of office to Allan McClain, 48, in the Monday ceremony.
The City Council announced McClain's hiring June 1, and finalized his contract at the June 14 council meeting. He brings to the department 26 years of law enforcement experience, having served most recently as sheriff of Kings County, a position to which he was appointed by that county's Board of Supervisors in 2004.
Todd called McClain's hire “a new starting point for the police department.”
Mayor Judy Thein offered a welcome before the swearing-in. “Our city has finally turned a corner,” she said. “Our police department will be able to take its rightful place of distinction.”
Todd said the department has a long history of leadership, and he recognized retired Chief Bob Chalk, who was in attendance. Chalk ended his service in December after 13 years as chief, Todd noted.
But now, it's McClain who the community and police force will be looking to for leadership, Todd said. He asked McClain if he was willing to take on the job, and McClain said yes.
Todd then administered the oath of office, and invited McClain's wife, Tammy, up to pin his new badge on her husband.
Next, Todd pinned four silver stars on both sides of McClain's collar, which denotes his rank as the department's top officer.
And, lastly, Todd handed over another important piece of equipment – the chief's cell phone, which he seemed more than happy to part with – before giving a bouquet of flowers to Tammy McClain.
“I'm excited to be here,” McClain said, thanking everyone for coming and recognizing his family – including his wife and two sons, his mother, aunt, father and stepmother, and members of his old command staff at the Kings County Sheriff's Office.
“We're going to work together,” McClain said, as the department moves forward in its relationship with the community.
He said he's going to take a family approach to his new job, and reminded them that sometimes families don't always agree but that, in the end, they work together.
“We're going to have a bright future in Lake County and you're all going to be part of that,” he said.
City Administrator Dale Neiman said he's enjoyed working with Todd, and added that he's looking forward to McClain joining the city's management team, most of which has been replaced over the last year.
McClain told Lake County News that he's looking forward to leading the Clearlake Police Department, which by and large is composed of many young officers and staff.
“We're going to have some fun,” he said.
At 10 a.m., following the swearing-in ceremony and the reception in the City Hall foyer, the new chief and his staff got to work, holding their first official department meeting.
E-mail Elizabeth Larson at email@example.com.