Ceres Police Department has added another new officer to its force, the second in less than two weeks.
Aaron Piñon, an eight-year veteran of the Gustine Police Department, was sworn in on Thursday.
Piñon started his law enforcement career in 2012 working for the Gustine Police Department where he worked as a patrol officer, field training officer and explorer unit advisor. Piñon left the Gustine Police Department in 2016 to take a position with the Los Banos Police Department. While in Los Banos, he worked patrol, and served as a Field Training Officer, explorer advisor, and detective.
Earlier this month the department held a swearing-in ceremony for Jeffery Godfrey, a Merced County law enforcement veteran.
Also new to the department and a law enforcement position is full-time police dispatcher Daniel Stanfield.
The department still has more positions yet to fill, according to Captain Patrick Crane. Four vacant positions are in immediate need of filling plus an additional two officers are expected to retire by March.
Ceres Police Department is authorized to have 52 sworn officers.
Complicating the acquisition of hiring new officers is the closure of police academies because of COVID-19.
Ceres is able to attract officers from such areas as Merced County which has smaller pay scales for officers.