West Covina Police Chief Frank J. Wills announced nine promotions within the department, including three new lieutenants and a former officer with the Arcadia Police Department.
“These moves fortify us at in these tight times and following several recent retirements,” Wills said. “West Covina has always prided itself on having the very best police department to serve our community, and with these additions, the leadership team we have in place ensures that moving forward.”
Wills cited former senior sergeant and new Lt. David Lee’s “approachable and open communication style as well as his willingness to listen as especially important in an era of diminished resources.” Lt. Lee joined the force in 1990 and was promoted to sergeant in 2006.
Also promoted to lieutenant:
Ken Plunkett, who has led the department’s Special Enforcement Team and was an original member of the the Graffiti Abatement Team. Lt. Plunkett joined the department in 2000 following three years with the LAPD, where he finished first in his class at the police academy.
Pat Benschop, who has spent the majority of his career in operational assignments. Lt. Benschop joined the department in 1996 after several years with the Alhambra Police Department. He was promoted to sergeant in 2009.
Promoted to sergeant:
Wayne Worley, a detective who was hired in 1995 and promoted to corporal in 2003.
Huston Clements, who has worked in detectives and SWAT. He was hired in 1997 and promoted to corporal in 2006.
Tony Cortina, who managed the department’s training program. He was hired in 1999 and promoted to corporal in 2009.
Michelle Figueroa, who has worked in patrol operations, detectives and training. She was hired in 1991 and promoted to corporal in 2005.
Promoted to corporal:
Pete Gallardo, who has been with the department since 2000.
Brandon Karmann, who was hired in 2006 after three years with the Arcadia Police Department.