Tehachapi welcomes new police chief and police station

TEHACHAPI, Calif. - The Tehachapi Police Department has a new place to call home.

The city held a grand opening celebration for the new police station on Friday morning.

"It's a real significant milestone for the city of Tehachapi. We've been waiting for years to get our officers out of a very cramped quarters downtown,” said Tehachapi Mayor Philip Smith.

Smith told 23ABC the building the officers moved into had been sitting dormant for years. It was built back in 1957 and restored for the police department.

Along with a new police station, the city is also getting a new police chief.

“I’m very excited. I have a brand new facility, got a great group of guys working for me,” said Tehachapi Police Chief Kent Kroeger.

Kroeger will officially take over as the new police chief on Tuesday.

"It's a dream come true. I'm from Tehachapi and I've lived here since 2000 and I'm very passionate about what I do and law enforcement and crime prevention, so to be able to do that in my own community and a brand new facility like this, it's just amazing,” said Kroeger.

It's a bitter sweet goodbye for Chief Jeff Kermode, but he will still be part of the mounted posse.

“A lot of mixed feelings. I've spent 35 years in law enforcement in three different departments, but this job meant the most because it's so personal,” said Kermode.

It's now time for Kent Kroeger to leave his mark on the department.

"What we're going to do is focus on reducing crime and responding to the community,” said Kroeger.

The new station is located at 220 West C Street. There will be another open house on Saturday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

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