Hanford's new police chief starts Monday

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's a new police chief in the city of Hanford. Captain Parker Sever will become their chief starting on Monday.

Sever said, "To have risen from a police officer all the way through the ranks to chief of police is very humbling."

Sever started with the Hanford department in the late 90s. He's looking forward to bringing his experience to his new position. And there's already one thing he wants to improve.

Sever explained, "There's kind of a negative atmosphere out there and I think one of the major things you have to have is community partnerships."

He hopes to make his department more transparent and have more community involvement. One of the big things he's already worked on at the department is getting body cameras. Officers began testing the cameras last summer and wearing them full time in September. Sever says they've been successful.

Sever said, "I think it makes the officers conscious of how they talk to people and I think it makes the citizens conscious of how they talk to the officers, it holds people accountable."

Sever will be formally sworn in on Tuesday. He's been the interim police chief since Chief Carlos Mestas retired in September. Sever hopes to focus less on arrests and focus more on prevention. He wants to remind officers why they choose law enforcement as their career.

Sever added, "My big thing has always been service, officers become officers to help people."

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