CARLSBAD — Carlsbad welcomed Chief Gary Morrison to the city’s police force at an official swearing in ceremony June 1.
Family members, city employees and Long Beach officers attended the ceremony at Carlsbad’s Faraday Center to show their support for Morrison. He succeeds outgoing Chief Tom Zoll as the top official in Carlsbad’s police department.
“I am overwhelmed and appreciate all of you being here,” Morrison said, addressing the community as police chief for the first time. “Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
Morrison joins the Carlsbad force after a successful career with the Long Beach Police Department, where he most recently served as a commander. In his new position with the Carlsbad force, he hopes to encourage fellow officers to be as “effective as we can.”
“I will continue to integrate the police department with the city’s visions and goals,” he said. “Police officers are basically the boots on the ground and I think we can do a great job of communicating what’s going on in the city.”
Morrison beat out hundreds of applicants in a nationwide search to replace Zoll, who is retiring after six years of service with Carlsbad’s police force. Morrison “rose to the top for quite a number of reasons,” City Manager Lisa Hildabrand said.
“Gary has become known for his collaborate style and excellent communication skills,” she said. “He’s showed a tremendous commitment over the years working with the local community.”
She also noted that Morrison’s extensive experience with SWAT teams, youth programs and investigations made him stand out among the other applicants. His completion of several academies, including those with the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, also impressed the Carlsbad officials involved in the selection.
“With 22 years in law enforcement, Gary has built a reputation as a strong leader and a team builder,” Hildabrand said.
He also has a strong educational background, with a master’s in organizational leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in geography, which helped him secure the position.
After City Clerk Lorraine Wood swore Morrison in, he addressed the crowd. He joked that when he first learned of the job opening, he immediately went home to “Google” Carlsbad and learn more about the city.
Now that he’ll be calling the city home, he and his family look forward to relocating and getting acquainted with their new law enforcement family.
“As I transition from my Long Beach family to my Carlsbad family, I look forward to the new challenges and adventures that we’ll face,” he said.