After more than a year of searching for a new chief of police, the Orange City Council in closed session Tuesday voted to hire John R. Robertson, Garden Grove's police chief, to lead Orange's force of about 150 sworn officers and 200 other Police Department employees.
Robertson 41, was selected after a statewide search that was narrowed down to four finalists, including two Los Angeles Police Department commanders. He is expected to start in mid-June.
Robertson rose through the ranks in Garden Grove after joining the department as a patrol officer in 1974. He was appointed chief of police there in May, 1988.
He will be paid $96,000 to head the Orange department, which is slightly smaller than Garden Grove's. His salary in Garden Grove is $86,028.
Councilman William G. Steiner said he was pleased the city had found a chief who "comes from a community with a lot of cultural diversity. That should help us with our diverse population in Orange."
Robertson will replace Chief Michael D. Parker, who died in March, 1991, after a five-year battle with cancer.
Parker, who joined the Orange Police Department as a patrol officer in 1963, had served as chief for one year before being hospitalized in January, 1991.
Merrill V. Duncan, a longtime retired police chief, served 14 months as interim chief while the city sought candidates for the position.