The official swearing in of Larry Berg as the new Chief of Police was held on Friday morning at the Belton Police Department. City Attorney John Messer administered the Oath of Office.

   In a standing room only audience made up of family members, City Officials, BPD personnel, and other surrounding police department members, Mayor David Leigh opened the ceremony by saying, “It’s sad to see Gene (Ellis) go, but it’s exciting to see the next chapter as Larry takes over. Whether you focus on the time as coming in or going away, this is the start of the journey. Great leadership was left by retired Chief Ellis.

   “This is a great policing unit, a great community, and we love being a community where we can all stand together,” Leigh said.

   Sam Listi gave some history on Chief Berg.

   “We are so happy to send Gene off in a positive way. His leadership has brought us to this moment of Larry coming into the Chief’s position. It’s my honor to acknowledge the appointment of Larry Berg, as the new Police Chief followed by the confirmation of the City Council,” Listi said.

   Berg was born and raised in Southern California. He served in the in the military police for eight years. He began his law enforcement career in 1996, working his way up from dispatcher, patrol, investigations and all levels of supervision over his 27 years working for the City of Belton.

   Chief Berg has held the rank of Deputy Chief since 2016. He holds a Master Peace Officer license and obtained a Bachelors of Arts and Science from Midwestern State University of Wichita Falls, Texas. He completed the Texas Leadership Command College in 2015 and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2017.

   Upon being sworn in as Chief of Police, Chief Berg said, “it is truly an honor to be the Chief of Belton.”

   Berg recalled his first impression of Belton as being so nice and so welcoming. He sees a lot of history in Belton.

   During the pinning, Berg’s wife pinned his badge and his daughter pinned the stars.

   Former Chief Ellis gave a few comments saying he was sworn into office in the same room. He said there is tradition in this room.

   “This is the right person for your Chief of Police,” Ellis announced.

   The tradition in the Texas Police Chiefs Association of passing on the badge to his predecessor began in 1958. Ellis found an old badge in a box when he became Chief. He said there’s no telling how old the badge is.

   “It’s obviously a very old badge because it has the number 20, which is the radio number for Chief.”

   Ellis carried the badge as his wallet badge for 15 years. The badge is deep in history, and he passed the badge to Chief Berg to use as a wallet badge, or for anyway he wanted to use it. Chief Berg ended the ceremony by promoting Captain Daniel Aguirre to Deputy Chief. Ellis said that Aguirre was the
first officer he hired when he became po
lice Chief. Richard Spurgeon was promoted to Captain, Sgt. Raynaldo Rodriguez to Lieutenant, and Jonathan Pratt to Sergeant.