Lodi has three new police officers, although two of them had already been employed by the Police Department in different positions.
Erika Urrea, Eric VerSteeg and Chris Delgado were sworn in by Judge David Warner during a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon.
"I've been waiting a long time for it," said Delgado, who attended Tokay High.
Delgado was born in Woodland and moved to Lodi when he was 2 years old. He played baseball all four years at Tokay and coached the Tigers' junior varsity baseball team this year.
He became interested in law enforcement after enjoying some classes at San Joaquin Delta College, and then entered the cadet program in May 2005. He was a cadet for 14 months before being hired as a trainee.
"You're not stuck in the office," Delgado said, explaining what attracted him to police work. "You never know what you're going to get every day."
Urrea was born and raised in Stockton and worked in loss prevention at Wal-Mart for four years, a job that enabled her to meet many Lodi police officers. She joined the Lodi Police cadet program in 2004 and participated in such events as National Night Out, the Lodi Grape Festival and the K-9 trials. Urrea also won police volunteer of the year award.
VerSteeg was born and raised in Linden and attended Linden High, San Joaquin Delta College and University of California, Davis. He and his wife, Marie, live in Lodi with their two children.
A dispatcher and jailer for three years, VerSteeg also delivered his own baby daughter on July 12, 2004. He called 911 to request an ambulance when his wife was about to give birth.
VerSteeg was also a field evidence technician for the police department before being sworn as an officer.
Police Chief Jerry Adams reminded the new officers, plus a room full of relatives, current and retired police officers, that being an officer is not an easy job.
"People don't call 911 because they're having a good day," Adams said before Warner swore in the three officers. "We have very high expectations and expect them to live up to the badge they are wearing."
After they were sworn in, Marie VerSteeg pinned her husband's badge on him, Urrea was pinned by her parents, Florencio and Noemi Urrea, and Delgado was pinned by his brother, Brian.
First published: Thursday, December 21, 2006