NEWMAN -- A former Modesto police lieutenant who has headed a major drug enforcement agency will become Newman's police chief, ending a yearlong search.
Adam McGill, 35, has served the last seven years with the Modesto Police Department, where he was commander of the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency, a multiagency task force with a $2.5 million budget.
The Ceres native worked for the Ceres Police Department and has 16 years of law enforcement experience. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in emergency services administration.
City Manager Michael Holland said McGill's enthusiasm and leadership experience with the drug agency made him stand out.
The position has been open for about a year, since Police Chief Michael Brady's retirement in April 2007. Randy Ulibarri served as the interim chief.
The city opened the application process three times, and increased the base salary because it was unable to find a match for the position.
McGill's salary will be $96,000 a year. The Newman City Council accepted the appointment Tuesday. A swearing-in ceremony is April 22, McGill's first day.
He said he is excited to join a small community closely connected to its City Hall and Police Department. Working in a larger city like Modesto, he said, it's not always easy for law enforcement officers to connect with residents.
"We want residents to feel safe to be out and about, and to make sure officers are accessible," he said. "In a larger city, you don't have time to do that."
Holland said McGill's "community philosophy" fits in well.
Mayor John Fantazia said McGill's background will reinforce Newman's role in the regional law enforcement effort.
The Newman Police Department has 13 sworn officers and five nonsworn positions. It has a nearly $2 million budget.
Bee staff writer Christina Salerno can be reached at email@example.com or 238-4574.