By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
“My objective is to bring the highest quality of policing to the city and to carry on the great work of my predecessors,” Baker said.
Baker will be the department’s third chief in less than three years. All three were promoted from within.
“We’ll be in very good hands with him at the helm,” said interim City Manager Eddie Manfro, who announced the decision at the July 25 Westminster City Council meeting.
Current chief Ron Coopman is retiring as of July 31.
“I’m leaving the city in the best of hands,” Coopman said.
Baker joined the WPD in 1990 and has worked in virtually every department, including a narcotics task force with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and in gang and organized crime units.
In 2010 Baker was promoted to captain, becoming second-in-command over the entire department. He has stepped in as acting chief on occasions when Coopman has had to be out of town.
“This is not a new job for me, so it will be a very easy fit to go right in,” said Baker, who as a sergeant was assistant to Chief James Cook.
Baker’s familiarity with the city and the department appeared to make him an easy choice in a time of relative upheaval in the city. Sixty-seven city employees were recently laid off, including some civilian WPD employees, and the council placed the city manager on permanent leave.
“I think the council’s looking for stability and leadership through these tough times,” Baker said.