Walpole, 41, is a Scotts Valley resident and had been previously employed as a sergeant for the Los Gatos Police Department, where he had served for 16 years.
Walpole's hiring fills the lieutenant position left vacant by the retirement of longtime SVPD Lt. John Hohmann, who stepped down after 30 years on the force in December 2013.
Police Chief John Weiss said that he was excited to have Walpole on board, particularly with his background as a law enforcement officer and his ties to the community.
“We're always looking for people that have a connection to Scotts Valley and have an investment in the community,” he said. “(Walpole) has a lot of experience and a lot of expertise.”
Weiss said that Walpole was selected from a pool of three candidates by an independent panel of law enforcement representatives from several agencies in Santa Cruz County and was formally offered the job in December.
“We knew that John Hohmann was going to be retiring and those were big boots to fill,” Weiss said. “We knew (Walpole) had expressed interest and he had a great reputation in Los Gatos.”
Working for SVPD was a homecoming of sorts for Walpole, whose father, Stephen Walpole, Sr, served as the department’s Chief of Police from 1986 to his retirement in 2002.
“(Working in Scotts Valley) was always something I had in the back of my mind,” Walpole said. “I thought if the opportunity presented itself I'd try and go for it.”
He said that he looks forward to working with the community and is excited to be able to protect his hometown.
“I really enjoy law enforcement and I really enjoy living in Scotts Valley,” he said. “What better place to work than the place you actually live.”
Weiss said that he was impressed that several of Walpole's former colleagues in Los Gatos — including Chief Scott Siemens — had rescheduled the swearing-in ceremony of a new LGPD officer to attend Walpole's ceremony.
Weiss said that he looks forward to many years of having Walpole, whom he described as a “committed police professional” on the SVPD staff.
“He's in (law enforcement) because he loves it, and that's the kind of person we want,” Weiss said. “I knew the caliber of the family that Steve Walpole came from.”
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