LINCOLN — The police department has a new member and also, thanks to his prior career with Pawtucket police, an experienced one.
Patrolman Alvaro Herrera was sworn-in to his new role on Friday, just about a week after retiring from a 20-year career as patrol sergeant for the Pawtucket Police Department.
Lincoln Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond said it was somewhat unusual for a new department member to come aboard after retiring from another department but pointed out that, at 42, Herrera is certainly young enough for a second career.
“He joined the Pawtucket department in 1993, only several years before I retired, so I think he is still pretty young,” Almond, a retired department lieutenant, said during the swearing-in ceremony in the Town Council Chamber.
There is also an advantage in gaining Herrera’s years of patrol experience, he added.
“We knew we were getting a valuable addition to an already-excellent department,” he said.
Herrera will fill the local vacancy without the town having to send someone to the R.I. Municipal Police Training Academy or having to require the period of patrol training that new rookies go through.
His Pawtucket experience includes training with that department’s crisis intervention team and a role as a hostage negotiator.
After Almond swore-in Herrera to his new police role and his mother, Elizabeth, pinned his Lincoln Badge 46 on his chest, Police Chief Brian Sullivan offered him a warm welcome as local department members and a number of Pawtucket officers watched from the audience.
“You have done this in the past and always served with distinction and honor,” Sullivan said of Herrera’s oath. “I have no doubt you will continue to serve the public judiciously,” he said.
Herrera comes aboard as the second member with Spanish-speaking skills and will be able help the department in bilingual issues, according to Sullivan.
While Herrera might be nervous about leaving his past department and starting anew in Lincoln, Sullivan told him he should feel at ease.
“Rest assured that you are joining an organization that has a history of professionalism and a tireless commitment to the community we serve,” Sullivan said. “These values make the Lincoln Police Department one of the most effective departments in the state.”
Sullivan concluded that the members of the Lincoln Police Department were looking forward “to not only working with you, but also to taking advantage of the knowledge and experience you have obtained in Pawtucket.”
After the ceremony, Herrera joined his mother and father, Elizabeth and Reinaldo, his wife, Diana, and their sons, Bryan and Dylan, along with their well wishers for pastry and refreshments put out by local department members.
The new Lincoln officer said he is ready to take on the challenge of his new role.
“I’m excited and little nervous, but I’m ready to go,” he said. “I feel I made the right choice. I have many more things to accomplish.”
Pawtucket Police Captain Tina Goncalves said her department was “sad to see him go,” but also noted that Herrera will be “a great asset to the Lincoln Department.”