Atascadero police Sgt. Joe Allen was promoted to the rank of police commander Monday, according to a statement from the city.
The move follows a lengthy search for candidates inside and outside the department, officials said. Steve Gesell, who served as actingpolice chief in Atascadero for much of 2011, previously held the department’s commander position before becoming the San Luis Obispo Police Department’s police chief in January.
Allen has worked with Atascadero police since 1995 after serving with the Monrovia Police Department for about four years. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2001 to supervise the department’s detective unit and work on investigations.
“One of Joe’s greatest strengths is his commitment to the department and the community,” Atascadero Police Chief Jerel Haley said in astatement.
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Allen has coached soccer, football, baseball and softball locally.
A swearing-in ceremony was held for him Monday.