REDLANDS – A longtime assistant San Bernardino police chief has been selected to assume the top post at the Redlands Police Department, it was announced Thursday.
Garcia will replace outgoing police Chief Jim Bueerman, 54, who had held the position for 13 years and served 32 years within the Redlands department overall. Bueerman announced his retirement in December, but agreed to stay until his replacement was found. His final day will be June 17, when Garcia begins.
There were seven applicants who underwent interviews on June 2, said city spokesman Carl Baker.
Four groups conducted the interviews: A panel of Redlands department directors; an 11-person community panel that included business owners, religious, public school and university leaders; a panel of current and retired police chiefs; and a panel of Redlands Police Department employees and citizen volunteers.
Out of seven final applicants, three finalists emerged. They were interviewed by City Manager Enrique Martinez, who ultimately offered the job to Garcia. The new chief’s annual salary will be $198,000.
San Bernardino, meanwhile, is searching for a replacement for its outgoing chief of police, Keith Kilmer. Garcia was reportedly up for that position as well.
Bueerman, who replaced Lewis Nelson in 1998, is reportedly considering a job with the Department of Justice, according to reports.
Bueerman spoke highly of the person chosen to succeed him.
“I’ve known Mark for many years,” Bueerman said. “I know he believes deeply in the whole notion that we need to stay engaged with community and co-produce public safety. I believe he will serve the people of Redlands well.”
Garcia is likely to inherit at least one tough case when he assumes office. On Jan. 5, shooters gunned down two teenagers and shot two others in an apparently unprovoked attack at the Cinnamon Creek Apartment complex.
Though police interviewed dozens of witnesses and have an approximate idea about the suspects, they have been unable to make any arrests in the case.