By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The city of Chehalis welcomed its new fire chief and the city of Centralia its new police chief last week, as both were sworn in at their respective city council meetings.
The two men had already been on the job a week.
Ken Cardinale was sworn in late Tuesday afternoon and shared a few words with city leaders of the county seat.
“What I’ve gotten to know so far is what a great group of firefighters and captains I’m leading,” Cardinale said. “They are true professionals that go above and beyond every day.
The Kelso resident who most recently spent 29 years with the Palo Alto (California) Fire Department, introduced his wife Beth Cardinale after she pinned on his badge.
“We’re glad to have you aboard, and hit the ground running,” Chehalis Mayor Dennis Dawes said.
Cardinale met with three neighboring police chiefs earlier in the day, to talk about how they could work more together.
He said he comes from a place with a more regional approach, and therefore many more resources.
Already he has submitted a draft plan to his boss to start a student firefighter program, something he said he’s a product of himself.
“If that goes well, we could look at resuming the reserve program,” Cardinale said.
The new chief takes over a department that has been led by interim chiefs for the past 12 months, and by a half-time chief for the year before that.
Later on Tuesday evening, Carl Nielsen was sworn in as the new chief of police in neighboring Centralia, the county’s most populous city.
Nielsen whose most recent position was second in command at the Turlock Police Department in California’s central valley thanked outgoing Police Chief Bob Berg, the city manager and the city council for entrusting him with the department.
His wife Jan Nielsen pinned his badge on him and was introduced, along with others in the audience including his mother, one daughter, mother-in-law and her friend as well as a new neighbor who all attended the ceremony.
He took extra time to thank Berg who had spent the previous several days helping him get acquainted.
Berg’s love and passion for the department will be his legacy, Nielsen said as he wished him well in retirement.
Centralia’s new police chief also read aloud the law enforcement code of ethics, the version adopted by the International Chiefs of Police.
A version of it is included in the department’s policy manual, and he intends to include it in swearing in ceremonies for new officers.
Here it is:
“I Carl Nielsen, subscribe as follows:
As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional right of all men to liberty, equality and justice.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendship to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession … law enforcement.”
For background, read:
• “News brief: Chehalis picks new fire chief” from Monday April 27, 2015, here
• “News brief: Centralia picks new police chief” from Friday April 10, 2015, here