Dozens of Murrieta police officers gathered Tuesday afternoon at Murrieta City Hall to commemorate the retirement of police Chief Mike Baray and as well as several promotions within the department occurring as a result.
Chief Baray, who is retiring from a 31-year career in law enforcement, will be transitioning to his new position as chief district attorney investigator for the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Baray, who was one of the department’s original officers when it formed in 1992, served 21 of his 31 years at the Murrieta Police Department. He was the department’s first detective and first chief to be promoted from within.
Tuesday’s events began when, Baray who was accompanied by his wife, daughter, and two sons, who are both deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, delivered a short but important speech recognizing the Murrieta Police Department for its outstanding work and tremendous growth since its inception.
“I am very proud of this department and its officers. It has been an honor,” Baray said.
Following Baray’s speech, was the passing of the badge and swearing-in ceremony for Hadden, who will succeed Baray as the new chief of police. Hadden, who was appointed by City Manager Rick Dudley, holds more than 25 years of law enforcement experience, beginning with the Perris Police Department in 1988. Along with Baray, Hadden was also one of the department’s original officers, beginning with the department in 1992.
“I am very honored to serve as chief,” Hadden said.
Baray did a great job and I plan to do a better job,” he joked with the
Hadden also recognized the department for its dedication and effort in reducing crime.
As a result of Baray’s retirement, the following members of the department were also recognized and sworn in to their new rank:
Lt. Rob Firmes to the rank of captain;
Sgt. Ron Driscoll to the rank of lieutenant;
Cpl. Spencer Parker to the
rank of sergeant; and
Officer Andrew Spagnolo to the rank of corporal.
Of those present to pay
tribute during Tuesday’s ceremony were, Larry Dean, Murrieta’s first chief of
police, Councilman Randon Lane, Mayor Rick Gibbs, and other retired members of
the police department.