Members of the community and the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department filled the council chambers Tuesday night to watch Chief John Eberhard's official swearing-in as the new police chief.
Eberhard, who will become the city's ninth police chief when he officially takes office Monday, replaces Chief Daniel Dreiling. Dreiling has served as the city's chief since 2004. He announced his retirement in January; however, he stayed on until a replacement could be found.
"I will try to carry out your legacy, but I have big shoes to fill," Eberhard told Dreiling during Tuesday's council meeting.
The council applauded Eberhard's appointment.
"There are some moments … that are truly special, truly heartwarming," said Councilwoman Ellen Perkins, adding that she was glad "to see the future of the police department in such wonderful hands."
Councilwoman Rosemary Humphrey agreed. "I can't think of anybody better to take the helm from Dan," she said.
As for Dreiling's legacy, Councilman John Rea said he expected Eberhard to follow in the retired chief's footsteps. "I have every confidence that you will fill those shoes and make (us) proud," said Rea.
A graduate of Palos Verdes High School, Eberhard has been a member of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department since 1984, when he joined the department as a jailer. He graduated from the Police Academy in 1986.
He received the 2006 Neptune Award from the city, an annual honor awarded to one employee who embodies exceptional service to residents and staff.