The Oakdale Police Department continues to fill its upper ranks with the December promotion of Detective Brian Shimmel to the rank of sergeant within the department.
Shimmel, a 10-year police veteran, received word of the promotion on Dec. 13 and took the reins as shift supervisor on Sunday, Dec. 16.
“We have a really good department and most of the cops working now are vets with a wealth of experience,” said Shimmel about his co-workers. “I don’t anticipate any problems. I’ll be supervising a good team.”
Police Chief Lester Jenkins said Shimmel competed against four others in the department. The sergeant test was conducted by a collection of three lieutenants from outside police agencies and an active civilian member of the community.
“Anyone of the four people was ready for the job,” said Jenkins about the report he received from the proctors. “Brian placed above and was rated the highest in the ‘well qualified’ band. He stood out among the raters.”
Jenkins credits Shimmel’s prior military experience along with his 10 years as a police officer.
Prior to attending the San Joaquin Delta Academy in 2001, Shimmel was a US Marine for more than 15 years earning the rank of gunnery sergeant. Part of his USMC service included being the crew chief for Marine One – the President’s personal military helicopter.
“I had that duty at the end of Reagan’s term and all through the George (H.W.) Bush presidency until 1992,” said Shimmel. “On the day of Clinton’s inauguration, I was on my way to California for another assignment.”
In California, Shimmel served as a marine recruiter for the Oakdale and Modesto areas.
Shimmel, who grew up in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, decided to stay in Oakdale because it reminded him of his hometown.
Shimmel was hired by Oakdale PD in 2002. During his career, he’s served as a school resource officer for three years, a field training officer, and his most recent assignment was as a detective. He currently is the president for the police officers association, an elected sign of support from his peers.
“Brian brought a lot of professionalism to the detective unit,” said Lt. Keri Redd. “He shows a good balance between enforcement and community relations which will help him out as a supervisor. He’s passionate about what he does.”
Jenkins said that Shimmel’s new role has much community interaction and feels very comfortable that Shimmel will handle that portion without any problem.
Shimmel’s former detective partner, Max Messina, said Shimmel was a good choice for the department and also attributes his USMC experience as a plus.
“Everyone that tested would have been a good choice,” said Messina. “Brian has what it takes to be a good leader.”
With the recent promotions in the police department, Sergeant Joseph Johnson has been transferred from patrol to take on the department’s administrative sergeant duties.