Lindsay selects experienced Porterville officer as new public safety chief

After serving 16 years with the Porterville Police Department, Rick Carrillo joins the city of Lindsay as the new Director of Public Safety, replacing interim chief Rob Moore

LINDSAY – Despite a nation-wide search for their next chief of public safety, Lindsay found their candidate just a few miles down the road in Porterville. 

The city of Lindsay announced on Friday, April 1 that former Porterville lieutenant and U.S. Marine, Rick Carrillo, will step in as the public safety chief.

“I am equally humbled and excited to have been selected to serve as the Director of Public Safety for the city of Lindsay,” Chief Rick Carrillo said. “I am confident that my experience brought to the already well-working department will only enhance the interaction and service to our community.” 

Chief Carrillo officially took over for interim Public Safety Director Rob Moore on April 1. In the few short months Moore served as chief, he was able to get the ball rolling in a few different areas of the department. City manager Joe Tanner explained that Lindsay has had its challenges throughout the years. Moore was able to maintain a standard of professionalism after stepping in for former public safety chief, Chris Hughes. But among the most important tasks that Moore took on was analyzing officers’ dual roles for both police and fire.  After years of pulling double duty Tanner said that the separation process is underway and contingent on receiving applications for available firefighter positions. 

Tanner explained their fire department is more of the issue at this time. The fire department currently has one staffed lieutenant and is hoping to fill two additional firefighter positions as well as 15 volunteer positions. As far as the timeline is concerned, it is more of a question of if or when the city is able to fill the available positions. Job descriptions for the fire department have been approved by the city council and ideally these positions will be filled next year.

As for the police department, Tanner explained that all positions are full except they are still operating on the “fairly lean” side within their support positions. For example the department is still lacking a detective. 

Lindsay’s new chief won’t be burdened with hiring crossover officer and firefighter positions. Now officers hired out of the academy will only serve and police, and firefighters will only serve as firefighters. This change will make it easier when it comes to recruitment and it will allow for a better use of funds. According to Tanner, the current public safety officers will continue to have to act as both fire and police “for the unforeseeable future” until the fire department is fully staffed.

Tanner explained that Chief Carrillo is totally behind the updates made to the department.

“I am honored to make this appointment,” Tanner said. “Not only is Rick a highly respected and regarded law enforcement officer with years of experience in Tulare County, but he also brings a level of energy, enthusiasm and an eagerness to move the city forward, address the city’s challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.” 

Chief Carrillo has a track record of strategic management and commitment to the professional development of the personnel he leads. Carrillo demonstrates a passion for community policing through engagement and interaction. Carrillo is also bilingual in English and Spanish and deeply familiar with Lindsay’s demographics and resources.

Carrillo comes from 23 years of demonstrated law enforcement and leadership experience and is a Marine Corps Veteran. He is a native of Dinuba and began his career with the Dinuba Police Department as a patrol officer in 1999. Carrillo then moved to the Lindsay Police Department for a stint of time before ultimately spending 16 years with the Porterville Police Department. He has worked as a lieutenant, Special weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team commander, crisis response team commander and leader of the Porterville Police Department’s peer support team. 

Chief Carillo prevailed as the top choice for Lindsay after a competitive recruitment process involving a professional and community panel that included Lindsay city councilmembers, Lindsay Unified School District representatives, Community Services Employment Training (CSET) representatives, and local law enforcement leaders. 

Tanner thinks Carrillo’s engagement with the public is a positive thing and will be received well. “I think that the public and Mr. Carrillo are going to have a great relationship together,” Tanner said.

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