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New Porterville Police chief brings decades of experience to position

Porterville, CA (KFSN)-The newly named Porterville Police Chief, Jake Castello, knows inside and outside his department.

Since joining PPD in 2003, he has been engaged and supervised on all possible missions.

Most recently, he was the captain of the patrol department.

“When you first embark on law enforcement, you don’t say,’Well, I want to be a police chief,’” Castello said. “I don’t know who I talked to said it was their goal when they went to the academy, but when you set a goal throughout your career, you go that route. You can see that there is. “

Originally from Woodlake, Castellow began his law enforcement career in his home city.

After that, he worked at the Sheriff’s Office in Turea County.

He says leaving the agency for the Porterville police was one of the most difficult but best decisions he had ever made.

Castellow says his department has strong relationships with the community, so residents and councilors are particularly supportive of public security workers.

That’s why Castellow believes that Porterville has never seen the widespread demands of police reform like many other cities across the country.

“I call my friends at the FBI Academy and ask how they treat them, so it’s not that we aren’t looking at them,” Castellow said. “If that happens here, they can help me make those adjustments and make sure we are doing what we have to do.”

Castellow says graduating from the FBI National Academy was a career highlight.

It was challenging yet rewarding, and he left with some lasting friendships, including Fresno police chief Paco Valderrama, who consulted on the opportunity to become Porterville’s chief.

“(I) was just from the city of Oklahoma, so I asked for his opinion and advice,” he said. “So I leaned on him, I leaned on some of my other classmates as I went through this process.”

“[He]is a solid police leader with a lot of experience and integrity,” Valderrama said. “He will serve the community well.”

Castellow plans to strengthen the leadership of Eric Kroutil, who retired after six years as police chief.

Some of the topics at the top of his priority list are to provide executives with the best training, education and technology.

He wants to allow them to return home safely after a day of protection and service.

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