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Big day for Merced Police Department

Mike Conway

Post Date:08/10/2018

Four promoted, one sworn in at Merced PD

It was a busy day for the Merced Police Department Friday as four officers were promoted and one new officer joined the ranks.

Police Chief Christopher Goodwin presided over the ceremonies calling it a 'great day' for the Department when it gets to promote so many within its ranks. One new captain, a lieutenant and two new sergeants were promoted.

Don King started working at the Merced Police Department in 1994 as a patrol officer. He has worked as a K-9 officer, in the Traffic Division and served as a Field Training Officer. He was assigned to the Investigations Division in 2001 and promoted to sergeant in 2007. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2016. He has a bachelor's and master's degree.

He spent eight years as a SWAT operator and supervised the Crime Scene Response Team, Defensive Tactics Unit and the Disruptive Area Response Team (DART).

Joseph Weiss has been with the Depart for 20 year. Originally from Fresno, he came to Merced in 1996, He's been a patrol officer, detective, and sergeant. He's been on the SWAT team, Crime Scene Response Team, High Tech Crimes Unit, the Bomb Squad and the Terrorism Liaison Officer. He holds a degree in criminology and is currently in a master's degree program. Weiss and his wife, Shauna, have a daughter, Sidney, 21, and a son, Jacob, 16.

Emily Foster is a Modesto native and has lived in Merced for the past 16 years. She started at the Department as a management analyst and was a reserve officer before becoming a police officer 11 years ago. She served as a School Resource Officer and a Field Training Officer and has been on the Crime Scene Response Team and the Hostage Negotiations Team. She holds bachelor's degrees in organization communications and business administration and a master's degree in business administration. In her free time she enjoys traveling, gardening, playing roller derby and spending time with her 10 nieces and nephews. She volunteers as the chair of the Junior Leadership Merced Committer through the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce.

Christopher Russell, a Merced native and Merced High graduate, was hired by the Merced Police Department in 1998 and was a Field Training Officer and served on the Street Crimes Unit. He's been a major crimes investigator for the past 11 years. He has a bachelor's degree.

Logan Cunning is from Fresno and will be sworn in as a police officer. He holds an Associate's degree in criminology and a bachelor's degree in criminology from Fresno State where he was on the President's List with a 4.0 GPA. In his spare time he likes playing men's league baseball, spending time with his girlfriend, Kersten McLain, and playing with his dog.

The Department has filled 90 of the 98 budgeted positions. Goodwin has made recruitment and retention a Department priority when he took over the Department as acting chief at the beginning of the year, and has continued that effort after becoming permanent Chief in June.

The Department is continuing its recruitment efforts.  The City is currently recruiting for both police officers and police officer trainees.  The position of police officer pays $62,169.36 to $75,566.88 a year.  Trainees can earn from $40,264.08 to $48,941.04. More information on the jobs can be found at the City's website,

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