MODESTO, CA - The Modesto Police Department named a new acting police chief on Wednesday.
According to a press release, Captain Gene Balentine was named acting Police Chief by City Manager Greg Nyhoff.
"I am grateful that Gene has agreed to take on this role," said Nyhoff. "He has shown great leadership during his service to this community and will ensure a seamless transition for the Department and the community."
A Modesto native, Balentine has served his hometown since 1988 when he became an officer with the Modesto PD. He worked his way through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain, before achieving this latest honor.
In response to his appointment, Balentine declared, "I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Modesto community as Acting Chief of Police and am committed to leading the Department during the recruitment process. I look forward to assisting with the transition to the new Chief of Police once he or she is appointed and will continue to support the new Chief in my role as Captain."
The position was made available due to the impending retirement of Police Chief Mike Harden on August 3. Harden served the Modesto community for 28 years.
"Mike's departure leaves a great leadership void in the Police Department," said Nyhoff. "He will be greatly missed by the City of Modesto organization as well as the community he has served."
Modesto is currently in the process of a national recruitment for the Chief of Police position. It is anticipated that the selection will take place this fall.