COSTA MESA — Although he's worn a police uniform for more than three decades in neighboring Newport Beach, Tuesday was the first time his uniform came with a badge reserved for the chief.
Friends, family and members of police departments reaching as far as San Luis Obispo stood by as Tom E. Gazsi formally became the Costa Mesa Police Department's new police chief.
Gazsi's three daughters, parents and wife, Kimberly, were among those who filled the City Council Chambers for the ceremony.
City Chief Executive Tom Hatch brought out a bouquet with a navy blue ribbon around for someone with a "serious job ahead" — Kimberly Gazsi.
"I want to thank you ahead of time," Hatch said.
Mike Decker, the CMPD's lead chaplain, challenged Gazsi to emulate Moses by praying, accepting help and trusting his officers.
Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer called Gazsi a "hometown boy done well."
"As fine as they all were, it wasn't close," Righeimer said, referring to Tom Gazsi's roots in the community. "This department deserves a great leader, and that's what you have here."