GREENFIELD — Greenfield Police Department welcomed five new officers to the city during a swearing-in ceremony last Monday.
“This is the first time that we have introduced five new officers to the community,” said Gregory Allen, Greenfield’s chief of police. “It’s equally historic for us in that all of our new employees are bilingual.”
The city introduced Sgt. Guillermo Mixer and officers Maximus Barabino, Janelle Sanchez, Javier Ruelas and Jesus Rangel Jr., who are all bilingual, to their respective ranks. Barabino had started with the department several weeks ago and already had his police badge, but the others were presented with new badges through a pinning ceremony Feb. 8.
“These officers are a welcomed addition to us and will assist in our goal of protecting and serving the Greenfield community,” Allen said.
Capt. James Hunt, who played a role in hiring three of the officers, spoke about the city’s need to hire multiple officers last year.
Of the factors Hunt said were important to him, he noted, “Not only did they want to be police officers, but they wanted to be police officers in the City of Greenfield.”
Hunt mentioned the city’s history of sending well-trained officers to other departments. He explained retaining personnel helps to build trust with the community as residents become familiar with longtime officers.
“Where we are today is just the beginning of where we want to be,” said Paul Wood, the city manager.
Wood said the police department aims to make the city a safe environment, and that is part of the city’s multi-pronged approach to providing a better future of the populace.
Mixer grew up in both the United States and Mexico, having graduated high school in Eugene, Ore. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years before building up 25 years of police experience at the Los Angeles Police Department. Prior to coming to Greenfield, he worked with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office as an investigator.
Barabino was raised in Southern California and has worked with the Riverside County Sheriff and other police agencies, as well as had a contract with the Department of Homeland Security.
Sanchez was born and raised in King City. Her law enforcement career began in 2014 in the records department at King City Police Department. In 2017, she was hired by GPD as a code enforcement officer.
Ruelas was born in Jalisco, Mexico, immigrating with his family to the United States when he was 10. He has previously served as assistant director of security at Northridge Mall.
Rangel was born in Killeen, Texas, and grew up in different areas of Monterey County, from San Ardo to Salinas. While in Greenfield, he attended elementary and middle school there. He served in the U.S. Navy and was part of Operation Neptune Spear, which captured Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
At the Feb. 8 ceremony, Greenfield City Clerk Ann Rathburn swore in the officers before a gathering of their fellow GPD staff and a limited number of family members.