Michael Zaro was officially sworn in as Lakewood’s newest police chief Monday night.
Addressing the audience, which included several members of the law enforcement community, Zaro thanked city leaders for the opportunity to head the department.
“I can’t say thank you enough, specifically the city manager and City Council, for having the faith in me to lead this department that I couldn’t be more proud of,” he said.
Zaro, 45, assumed the position Oct. 16.
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He previously was operating as interim chief, a position he’s held since April when former Chief Bret Farrar retired. Before that, he served as assistant chief for seven years.
Zaro has been in law enforcement for 21 years, including 11 in Lakewood. Before the Police Department was formed, he spent 10 years with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy and a detective.
He joined Lakewood as a detective in 2004. He worked on homicide and felony investigations, forensic investigations and was a public information officer for the department.
He was assistant chief for seven years in Lakewood and before that was a sergeant overseeing patrol, professional standards and training. He conducted background investigations for new hires and supervised volunteers.
He also was a member of the Crime Response Unit, a multiagency investigative unit in Pierce County.
As chief, Zaro will be paid $135,000. He will oversee 116 full-time employees, including 100 commissioned law enforcement officers. The department’s annual budget is $21 million.