Capt. Bill Stearns, who has worked for the Seal Beach Police Department since he was 21, will become its chief today.
The 43-year-old Stearns has been acting chief since June 4, when his predecessor, Chief Stacia Picascia, took a three-month medical leave as a result of stress-related high blood pressure. Picascia, an attorney, has expressed interest in a judgeship.
The two men shared a celebratory lunch Monday that was thrown by city employees at a local restaurant.
Stearns began his career in Seal Beach in August, 1965, and has served in every rank and job, according to City Manager Robert Nelson. Before he became acting chief, Stearns was commander of the 42-officer department's operations division. Stearns earned an associate of arts degree from Saddleback College and a bachelor of arts degree in management from Redlands University.
An avid water skier and equestrian, Stearns has won medals for those events and has sailed in the Police Olympics. "I've been involved since 1967. I surfed in them (the games) then," Stearns said.